When I’m Old Can I go Home?

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Last night Mama asked, “When I’m old, can I go home?”

And though I half smile at the innocent wonder of her words, I ache inside, as I try to grasp her feelings. She’s in the house she’s lived in for over fifty years—but she wants to go home.

She often hollers out, “Mama! Mama, where are you?” It’s the most frequent cry of her heart.

And I try to imagine what it’s like to not know where you are and to be wanting your mama so desperately and unable to find her… and to have pain and not be able to explain it, and to have needs and not have the words to express to them.

I so want to comfort her and give her peace.

And then I read Psalm 139 this morning. I read about how God knows our thoughts and is acquainted with all our ways. I read about how He hedges us behind and before.

I read, (vs. 7 to 10, NKJV) “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.”

And it gives me such comfort to know that Mama is not alone. She may not recognize God’s presence with her at this time, but He IS with her. When I can’t understand her thoughts, when she can’t even understand her own, God does.

He knows her thoughts. And even when she is in the very worst darkness of Alzheimer’s, she is never truly alone. Her Heavenly Father is with her. His right hand is holding her. He is hedging her behind and before.

Mama knew Jesus when her mind was healthy, and He knows her always. He will never, ever leave her.

He is preparing her forever home. And in His perfect time Mama will find her Mama again. What a joyous reunion it will be!

And yes, Mama. When you are old, you can go home.


  1. Reblogged this on God's Grace and Mom's Alzheimer's and commented:

    I needed to read this again today. This journey is so hard. I wish I could protect Mama from all the hurt and pain. I wish I could protect myself and my family from losing Mama little by little. But I take comfort in knowing that God is with us. And He is with Mama. Always.

  2. I am struggling with this issue, too (parents with dementia and Alzheimer’s). I’ve been a God-fearing, Bible believing Christian for over 50 years but I’m having a hard time with my faith these days. I don’t want to sound disrespectful or worse yet, blasphemous (sp?) but I just have such questions … like you say “she’s never truly alone, God is always with her” … but if she doesn’t KNOW that, what good is it to her? Where is her comfort? I “know” (in my head and used to know in my heart) that God is a loving God who cares deeply for us … and I know that we live in a sin-filled world and that is why we have disease and suffering, etc. But I just don’t understand how it can “serve a purpose” for God to leave his children, who in so many cases loved and served and lived for him wholeheartedly until their minds were gone, leave them here to suffer so. I just don’t understand. I’m trying, I really am. But it sure is hard.

    1. Thank you sharing your struggles, Jan. I understand. I wonder too why God allows His children to suffer with Alzheimer’s and dementia, etc. I really don’t know. But I do know He can make good come out of even the hardest things. And I know that life on earth is just a tiny blip compared to eternity– and for eternity all those who trust Jesus will be
      restored and will have joy and peace in His Presence forever.

      I think the hard stuff in life gives us opportunities to glorify God and show love to Him as we sacrificially care for and love others. I’ve learned and grown closer to God and my parents as I’ve helped care for my own mom. I’ve learned to depend on Him more. I’ve felt His grace enable me to keep get through things I never thought I could.

      As far as God’s presence with mom–you asked, “if she doesn’t KNOW that, what good is it to her?” I think you make a good point. But yet, how do we really know what she’s aware of, or not? Couldn’t God communicate with her in a way, that even with Alzheimer’s, she could understand? Maybe He speaks even more clearly to people who have dementia than He does the rest of us. How do we know?

      I know when my mom is very agitated I might doubt it. But other times she’s very quiet and peaceful. Maybe God’s presence is calming her.

      At any rate, knowing that He knows what she’s thinking and that He cares and loves her, comforts me. Knowing that He is with her always strengthens me. And knowing that He will restore her in eternity and that I will see Mama again and she will know me and smile at me and call me by name is the hope that holds my heart together and keeps it from breaking.

      Have you read my post ‘What I’d Say to my Children if I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s” and especially the comments? So many people have commented on the post and shared stories of God’s grace and strength as they cared for loved ones with AD.

      And again, Jan, thank you for honestly sharing your questions. I pray that you’ll bring them to God. If you read Psalms, you know that people have expressed every kind of emotion and question to God. It’s okay to pour out your heart to Him. I pray you will cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you. And I’m praying that He will encourage your heart.

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