January 26, 2022
Jesus said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic.” Luke 9:3 NRSV
I’m better than I used to be but not as good as I’d like to be when it comes to packing. On my recent trip to Hawaii, I began a list of what not to bring the next time I travel. I don’t need two extra tops or slacks, and one pair of casual shoes aside from the sneakers I will wear on the plane or in the car. I really don’t need a raincoat and an umbrella, that’s redundant. Two containers of sunscreen are overkill, one will be just enough. And there are stores where I am going.
It’s hard enough to pack for myself. Tomorrow I will be packing up my sister’s room in Assisted Living and moving what she needs to a Memory Care facility near my home. There are several challenges. First, she is 10 years older than me. We haven’t lived in the same house since she married when I was 12. I have an idea of what she likes to wear but making fashion decisions for her at this stage of life is daunting. Second, I’ve never gone through her drawers other than a quick search for a missing item. I have a sense that there are things that she hasn’t used for years, but don’t really know. Third, I am having a hard time imagining just what she will need as her Alzheimer’s progresses. Does she need a warm coat and gloves, or a nice dress?
The crux of the matter is that I am losing my sister bit by bit, and while I will figure out what to pack for her, and there are stores in Woodstock, I have little idea of how to emotionally prepare for this journey. Jesus’ instructions to the disciples, “take nothing for your journey” makes no logical sense to a 21st century North American. Imagine my surprise when I found this translation in The Message Bible: Jesus said, “Don’t load yourselves up with equipment. Keep it simple; you are the equipment.” Luke 9:3 The Message
It’s not what I have packed away. All that I need is to simply be…me.
Keep it simple! ~ Anne