When the neurologist told us that Mom had Alzheimer’s he had two pieces of advice. One was to contact the Alzheimer’s Association and request the free book they gave out, written by a coach, whose wife had Alzheimer’s. His other advice was seven words he said, as he looked me in the eyes with a calm compassion, “Remember, she’s doing the best she can.”
I ordered the book right away. And I’ve always remembered his words. Such simple words, but wise ones. No one has come back from having Alzheimer’s to explain what it’s like to experience it personally. I can’t understand what is going on Mom’s mind. My mind is (relatively) strong, but I find it so hard to comprehend what it must be like to not know your own home, to not recognize your own family, to not understand what a bath is or why it’s needed, and to not know how to say what you want to say.
When I try to imagine what that must be like, I start to think Mom is doing incredibly well for her situation. It’s no wonder she hollers and screams and cries sometimes. It’s pretty amazing that she smiles and laughs as much as she does.
She is doing the best she can. I just opened my Bible and happened to open to this verse, “No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s spirit…” I Corinthians 2:11a (NLT). In the same chapter, vs. 9, it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Mom’s mind and life is more difficult that I can truly imagine right now. But the future God has planned for her with Him is more incredible than I can imagine. And for all who trust in Jesus as their Lord.
Mom is doing the best she can. And God is doing beyond what we can imagine!