Monday, January 1, 2018

Even to Your Old Age...


Mom at age 93 with her youngest great-grandson, Isaac, 2.   

  When a parent has Alzheimer's disease, it's nearly impossible to avoid a feeling of dread: what if I fall to this disease as well?  Despite near constant reassurances from the Lord (...do not be afraid, I am with you1, even to your old age and gray hairs I am he who comforts you2, there will be showers of blessing3...), I have never managed to fully release my dread of the future.

  A recent conversation with my mother has finally ushered me to a tremulous acceptance of God's promised grace in any situation we may face.  Mom is in her 14th year since her Alzheimer's diagnosis. She is losing her vision due to macular degeneration. She can't stand by herself and has to have assistance with every activity of daily living. And yet she said, "I am so blessed and comfortable. I am so grateful for the Lord's presence with me..."

   For emphasis she patted her chest and exclaimed, "He's right here!  With me!  In my heart!"

  And then she sought eye contact with me and leaned forward.  "I know Heaven must be more wonderful than this, but it is hard to imagine being any happier than I am now."

  I came away humbled.  God's grace has covered my mother as she sits in her recliner in the nursing home, no longer able to read, with only her music for company.4  I have seen with my own eyes how the Lord has provided for Mom, and I know He wants all of us who belong to Him to understand that He will provide just as abundantly (though perhaps differently) for us. 

1 Isaiah 41:10
2 Isaiah 46:4
3 Ezekiel 34:26
4 At this stage of her disease process, Mom much prefers the quiet and solitude of her room at the nursing home to group activities. She has frequent, one-on-one time with staff, friends, and family.