Thursday, November 13, 2014

Small Rewards

Mrs. Sieber 
We’d been caring for my mother-in-law for over a year. At first, her mind stayed sharp. She and I even did crossword puzzles together with me reading the clues and her answering from the knowledge she had gained from years of completing one every day. 

Unfortunately, read more
a necessary stay in a nursing home seemed to diminish her capabilities. She no longer initiated conversation and only answered “yes” or “no” to our questions. Sometimes she didn’t even know who we were.

Because of all this, we were sad but thankful to be able to bring her to her favorite place to be, her home. My husband pulled up in front of her house, looked at her, and said, “Do you know where you are?” Her face it up with a smile. We felt rewarded even from this small sign of the mother we had once known.

Caring for her from then on became a more difficult chore. She could no longer help us get her in and out of bed. She really couldn't do anything except open her mouth and receive the food we offered to her.

One day, as I sat in an adjoining room to her bedroom, I heard singing. I drew closer without letting her see me. The words were difficult to make out, but as she repeated them over and over, I heard, “We’ll find perfect peace where joys will never cease, there beneath the sunny sky. We’ll go and find a place, that’s known to God alone, a spot to call our own.” I wrote them down and looked up the song when I got home which turned out to be a 1919 song by J. Keirn Brennal and Ernest R. Ball, used in 1985 in the soundtrack of the movie, Out of Africa.

I had never heard Mom sing before. When I told my sister-in-law about the incident, she said, she never heard her mother sing. Mom had told her that one time someone made fun of her voice, and so she never sang in public again, not even in church.

Mom sang the same song quite few times after that but also Ira Sankey’s Ninety and Nine. We loved to hear her sing, and found that the person who criticized her was wrong. Mom’s voice at age 99 was beautiful.

Small rewards, a face alight with delight and a voice unleashed from a cruel comment, are the payment for caregiving.  The greater reward will come later when we each meet our Savior face to face and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”


  1. Thanks for sharing this touching story. God truly gave her a new song.

    1. You're welcome, Cindy. She was a very special lady.

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