I learn important lessons from my mama. Today she taught me about clinging. I had a sweet, cozy visit with her last night. She was in her bedroom when I arrived, so we ended up cuddling on her bed for about an hour before she wanted to look for Dad. I was surprised; she usually lasts only a few minutes before she needs him.
She read one of her life story pages (pictures and memories of her life I have printed up for her) to me over and over. And I read it to her. She sang “How Great Thou Art” many times and off key, and would pause to ask me how she did. She would stop and smile lovingly at her baby doll, Annabel, who was tucked between us. She told Annabel that she was cute and that she should be a good girl.
When Mom did get up to find Dad I heard him mute the TV and ask her, “Where’s Cheryl?”
“She’s still in there.”
“Well go visit her.”
“She’s been there all day.”
“But she came to visit you.”
“She did?” Mom asked. “Did she say that?”
“Yes, so go visit her.”
“Okay,” she answered pleasantly, though maybe reluctantly. She came and found me and climbed onto the bed by me again. We chatted for a few more minutes and then she asked, “What do you want to do now?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to do now?”
“I was thinking about trying to find Raymon.”
“Okay,” I said. “Let’s go find him.”
We got up and mom looked me sincerely in the face and said, “He’s not crazy.” (H-mmm. Not sure where that came from, but okay.)
We walked into the living room, and she found Dad and snuggled down right next to him on the couch. She was where she wanted to be…close to Dad. She could enjoy a little time with me, but her heart wanted Dad. He is her refuge and she clings to him.
As I was reading my Bible this morning, I was reminded that I am called to cling, too. I am called to “…love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…” Deuteronomy 30:20. I am to love people and enjoy time with them, but I am to cling to God. He is the one I should most desire time with. I should hunger for His presence and yearn to be close to Him. He is to be my refuge, my shade in the heat, my shelter in the storm. He is to be my life. I am called to cling.
I just found your writings. They touch the deepest places in my soul. Dad died 5 years ago, after succumbing to Alzheimers/Parkinsons for 10 years. We kept him at home. At the end, he had wasted away to a shadow of himself, but he refused to leave Mom. One day, while Mom was away, I asked Dad, “Are you tired of fighting?” He immediately & clearly responded, “Yeah.” I told him I loved him, & I understood, & when it was “time,” he wasn’t to worry about Mom because I’d take care of her. I said I’d miss him but know I’d see him again someday in Heaven. Then I went outside & broke down. When Mom returned, I told her. She had always told Dad he couldn’t leave her because she needed him – but within a few days, she too had a similar talk with Dad.
One week later, Dad stopped eating or drinking. Eight days later, he passed. He had been waiting, to be sure WE were ready.
Those years changed me.
Wow! I’m so sorry for your loss, Joey. thank you for sharing your story. ~Cheryl
I just came upon your blog as I google searched “God mom alzheimer’s”. I started at the very beginning and I marvel at the strength of your faith. I’m a Christian but at this time in my life, I’m really struggling to hold onto my faith. I angry at God, at myself, at mom who was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, at my dad, at the whole world actually. I am full of anger and I can barely contain it. I have insane bursts of anger at my parents who both live with me in my home. I am single and childless. Terrible shame, regret, and floods of tears follow. I will definitely continue to read tour blog. I don’t know why I decided to comment here but maybe you can say a prayer for me. Thank you for your encouraging words.
Hi HS. I’m so sorry, I just got a notification today about your comment and didn’t see it earlier. I’m sorry to hear you are struggling with your faith and with anger and that your mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I’m sure it’s stressful having your parents live with you, too.
There are support groups for those who have family members with Alzheimer’s. Also, the Alzheimer’s Association have people available 24/7 to take your calls. They can steer you to resources or just listen. This is a hard journey and you need to get all the support you can. Do you have a pastor or counselor you could talk to? The Alzheimer’s Association can tell you about support groups in your area and other resources, too. Please reach out and get help.
And thank you for taking the time to comment here. I will put you on my prayer list and keep you in prayer. I hope you will give me updates on how you’re doing. Alzheimer’s is hard. Life is hard. But God keeps proving to me how He does give grace as we depend on Him. One day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time.
I’m not a strong person. I’m very emotional and weak. But I’ve seen God help me through things I never would have believed I could get through. He can help you, too. And one way He does that is by providing support that we need to take advantage of. I’m praying you will find help and encouragement.