Posted by: Michelle Knoll | January 12, 2011

And miles to go before I sleep

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

“Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost

I thought this poem very appropriate for today, since I’ve been on the road since 12:30, and didn’t make it to the motel room in the next town until 7:30. And parts of the road were kinda icy, and snow and icicles were everywhere.  In some ways, it was beautiful.  In some ways, it was tiring to deal with.

Boy, I’m pooped.

It’s been a long couple of days.  I’ve been dealing with my mom, and since she’s losing her memory, it’s no small feat.

I spent 5 – 6 hours with her on Monday, and we had a fantastic time.  Then, as I was leaving, she looked at me and said, “Well, I was supposed to hear from my daughter today, but I guess I’m not going to.”  (But you did hear from me, Mom! You spent 5 hours with me!)


Then yesterday, in the middle of the day, she looked at me and said, “What place is this?  Whose place is this??”  I just calmly said, “This is YOUR place, Mom.  This is your apartment.”

“Oh.”  She looked around the room, pictures of her family all around her, and she didn’t seem to recognize any of them.

She’s safe where she’s at, in an assisted living center.  But as much as my brothers and I don’t want to admit it, or deal with it, it’s time to move her into the next level of care.  She’s just getting too confused these days.

How does one deal with this tragic loss of life?  She’s not dead, yet… she’s not living either.  She’s just… existing.

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  We had a great time on Monday.  Got lost as we drove all around (since I was driving in a town that I don’t know very well at all).  Saw lots of new sites we’d not seen before.  Ate great seafood.  I asked her more questions about her childhood and past, though this time, I’m not sure she was giving me accurate answers.

And I’ll keep on having times with her, until there is no more time to have these times.  I’ll keep on driving all these miles, just like my brother does, since we both live so far away from Mom.

But still… it reminds me that life can get long.  And hard.  And tiring.  And sometimes I feel, whether I’m driving or not, that I have miles to go before I sleep.

Jesus, You’re there to hold me, when it gets to be too much.  You’re there, in my prayer closet, when the pain of losing my mom is too great to bear.  You’re there, in the friends that You’ve allowed to suddenly reappear in my life, when I feel like I’ve lost so much of life over the years.  You’re there, when I’m with my mom, and I feel like my mom has no more life to live, even though she is still alive.

You’re there, in the car, as the snow falls, as the cold winds blow, as the mile posts go by…

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for never leaving me nor forsaking me.



  1. Michelle,

    That one was a bit too close to home for me. Kinda have to get past a lump before responding.

    Sometimes we get weary of life, despite the joy in it. Sometimes we have to find or create joy. Because there will still be many miles before we really get to rest. The question then becomes a destination or joy in the journey question.

    What will we see and do in the miles to go, that will make the journey worthwhile? Or will that pale in significance to who waits for us at journey’s end, once we awaken?

    • Oooo… good one, Paul. I don’t know. There will be joy unspeakable at the journey’s end. But there is joy in the journey, even when it is long and tiring, filled with mile posts. So… I don’t know.

      One question I have, is this: Will there be times, after journey’s end, as we commune together, that He look at me, with a knowing look, that says He remembers the secrets we shared, while on the journey? Will we know what each other is thinking? That’s a big question for me, right now.

  2. ~hugs~ No words, friend…

    • Is okay, Lisa. Your hugs are good, too. 🙂 Blessings to you.

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