Thank you for sharing some memories this week.
I hope if you are or have been a care giver for someone with Alzheimer, you have found some comfort and hope and a safe place to process some of your own moments here on the Journey.
While our family didn’t do it perfectly, we did the best we could at the time and the years we spent being the caregivers to my parents and aunt are a blessing and a gift from God.
One of the greatest treasures from those years happened fairly early on and sustained me.
It also taught me the power of forgiveness.
After an eight week roller coaster of bringing them here, seeking the right facilities and medications that included having to visit my father in the Psychiatric unit of our local hospital in what was the absolute lowest point of the entire seven years; I finally got my dad settled into a nursing care facility under a director who loved him and advocated for him.
My mother was still recuperating, so I visited alone at the start of his stay there.
The weather was warm and we would go sit out in the courtyard. I always let him lead the conversation. And I was comfortable when we just sat in silence.
One day, as we sat together, he told me he remembered things in spots. I asked him what he meant and he pointed at me and said he remembered me and he pointed to a statue and a bench and said he remembered those.
Then he waved his hand vaguely around to some other parts of the enclosed area and said how he didn’t remember there…or there….or over there.
I said that must be frustrating and confusing and he agreed and then he said he also felt like he may have said something to hurt me but he couldn’t remember what it was.
My dad had what we call a “German temper” my whole life and when he got mad, he said a lot of things. But he never said he was sorry.
He showed me he was sorry with his life.
But he never said the words.
Until that day.
That day when Alzheimer appeared to have stolen all that was good in him, my dad looked at me and told me he just knew he had said something to hurt me and he didn’t know what it was but he sure was sorry because he would never do anything that would harm me.
When I say we took care of my father for seven years, I can tell you that the one moment on a bench in a sun drenched courtyard was worth every second.
Years of hurt washed away that day.
I learned the power of asking and receiving forgiveness.
I learned that even when a disease as ugly as Alzheimer steals, we have a God who gives back more than we could ask or imagine.
My prayer for you today…
whoever you are…
whatever pain you have endured at the hands of a person or because of a situation or circumstance…
whether it be Alzheimer or cancer or abuse or desertion or betrayal or anything that was meant to tear you away from God…is that you know the love of God, who redeems and restores and rescues and renews.
The thief comes only to kill, to steal and to destroy….but Christ has come to give life, to restore, to build up.
He is faithful <3
Only God!!! At this conference and I always pray where to sit. Today I sat by a young woman who writes a blog for guess what?????? Caregivers!!! Here is her site:
You are very welcome!