Lessons of Love to my Children

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I wish I could see how Mom and Dad are celebrating their first anniversary together in the presence of Jesus. I can imagine God honoring them for their faithful love through the many trials of Alzheimer’s and blindness. I know I am blessed and challenged by their example.

Jesus, will you please give them a hug for me today? And tell them I miss them and love them so much. And I’m so grateful they are my parents and that they both know You and have an eternity of joy now!

In honor of their day, some memories from four years ago…

Oh, such lessons of love I see. Oh, dear sons and daughters, please pay attention.
As I prepare things for Mom’s bath, I hear Dad talking to Mom as they cuddle on the love seat. He says, “You’re my sweetheart and I love you big bunches!”
“Is that so?”
“We’ve been married for almost 59 years now. I met you just about this time, 59 years ago and you’ve been my sweetheart ever since!”
“Oh, my goodness!” Mom replies.
“And I love you big, big bunches!”
“I like you,” Mom answers.

Dad starts singing “Amazing Grace” as I finish getting things ready. I manage to get through The Battle of the Bath. It’s not pretty, but it never is. And then Mom, all clean and fresh in her flannel nightgown, finds Dad again. And after I clean things up I join them in the living room.

We watch the end of the news and chat a bit, and then Lawrence Welk comes on. It’s an old, black and white episode.

And I sit there watching Dad concentrating on his beloved show, his arm lying across Mom’s lap, his hand near her knee. And I see Mom, leaning close up against him with her damp hair, as she strokes and pats his arm.

And it is such a picture of sweetness that my heart and eyes overflow.

And I think of one son, recently married. And of another son planning his wedding. And of sons and daughters yet to come to that point in life. And I want them to be with me right at this moment. I want them to look at their grandparents and see real love for what it is. I want them to “get it.”

I want them to understand that strength can falter, eyes may grow dim with age, and beauty will fade. But love keeps going. Love can keep growing even as legs get weak, and shoulders bow, and memories disappear.

Love can survive your spouse not knowing your name. Love can overcome dementia and Depends and the darkness of blindness.

And so I pray for my children. And I tell my daughters, when you look at a guy pay attention to how he treats his mom and sisters. That is a great indicator of how he will treat you. And I tell my sons, pay attention to how a girl treats her Dad and brothers.

And I tell them all—find someone who loves God. Who really, really loves God.

And now I want to tell each of them….look at your grand-parents. And if you are ever tempted to divorce, think about them and all they’ve been through. And know that marriage can get sweeter with time and grow more precious with history. And love can last through so much with Jesus.

And someday, if the Lord tarries long enough, I hope you will be cuddling on a love seat with your dear one, after 59 years of marriage, singing “Amazing Grace.”

(Watching Lawrence Welk is optional.)

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10 comments

  1. I have been reading your posts for some time now. My sweet momma is 90 years old and is in throws of dementia and my daddy is 92 and he takes care of her all by himself…his desire against the desire of his children. Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a month ago and will not be receiving any treatment other than treatment to keep him comfortable. Mom cannot comprehend his disease or the shortness of days ahead, which in some ways is a blessing for her but not so much for Dad who could use a loving, doting wife right now. He NEVER complains…ever.

    She is in a state of complaining lately and perhaps it is her way of showing frustration without knowing how to really verbalize it. Their routine has changed a bit because he is very tired though he tries to do ALL household chores inside and out. We have BEGGED to allow us to help him but he refuses.

    I have found through your writing that I have felt as you have that each day, some filled with surprises that delight and others that challenge us to the max, has its own beauty and the sweetness of real love. Our three grown children are very close to them and we all see the commitment and dedication they live out.

    Thank you so much for sharing and allowibg me to share with someone who understands. Your words are an encouragement to me. Jesus is my Savior and just having Him makes all the difference.

    Marsha L.

    On Mon, Jun 25, 2018, 2:07 PM God’s Grace and Mom’s Alzheimer’s wrote:

    > chermor2 posted: ” In honor of Mama and Daddy’s first anniversary together > with Jesus, and 63rd year of love, some memories from four years ago… Oh, > such lessons of love I see. Oh, dear sons and daughters, please pay > attention. As I prepare things for Mom’s bat” >

    1. Thank you so much, Marsha! I’m so thankful to hear what I have shared has encouraged you! And yes, knowing Jesus absolutely makes all the difference! I hope you keep in touch and let me know how your folks are doing. God bless you! ~Cheryl

  2. I’m sitting here, tears welling up in my eyes. My mom is 80 and has dementia. My dad just passed away from colon cancer just this past October. Prior to that he was her primary caregiver. He did everything for her meds, meals, and baths. One day he mentioned giving her a bath and I asked how long he had been doing that. He said 3 months, I told him I would start doing that for him twice a week and he said just that alone was a huge help to him. He never complained, he did everything, as much as he could for her. To the point that his colon cancer returned from 9 years ago. We now believe he had it for about a year, we suspect he knew, but said nothing. He put his own health last to take care of her. I believe he was tired and ready to go, so he said nothing until it was too late when it was discovered, stage 4. He lived about 4 months more, then passed away, but not before accepting Jesus! Praise Jesus, he is now with Jesus and no longer suffering! Thank you for your blog, it is such a
    blessing!

    1. What a gift that he accepted Jesus! Praise the Lord! But I’m still sorry for your loss. My dad just passed away in April and I miss him so much. I think we were both blessed to have the dads we have had. Heroes!
      Thank you for your message and for your encouragement! May God continue to give you grace.
      ~Cheryl

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