Tuesday, March 29, 2011


When I was writing My Mom Has Alzheimer's, I prayed almost constantly for guidance.  I worked hard to accurately record messages of comfort and help as I transitioned into the role of being my mother's caregiver.  Now, seven years later, I am facing the major life change of moving into early retirement after a career of teaching.  For the first time in over twenty years, August of this year will find me at home rather than at the school preparing frantically for the imminent arrival of a group of six-year-olds who need to learn to read.  Additionally, my son and his lovely fiancee have planned a July wedding.  Faced with this dual challenge to my emotional equilibrium, I've been revisitng the truths God has given me about making successful life transitions. 

As my son prepares to embark upon his new life, I remember my feelings when his older sister left for college: 
"I came to recognize that if my daughter had difficulties beyond how to cook a pot roast or what cleaner to use on the bathtub, that I was no longer the key designed for that particular lock. She had outgrown me. All mentor/child relationships are temporary—the child grows up. The fact that my daughter no longer required me for sustenance was not a reason for grief, but rather, an indication that I had done my job well. Because of my close emotional tie to her, this was also a gift and a blessing. I was free of my responsibility for her; free to enjoy her" (My Mom Has Alzheimer's: Inspiration and Help for Caregivers, p. 27). 
I wrote the following quote in reference to my changing relationship with Mom, but it holds true for the change I am facing in my relationship with my son as he honors the commitment he has made to his beloved wife-to-be:
 "It is a difficult transition, made easier by the recognition that although the rules of the relationship change, love remains" (introduction, p.xiv). 
And finally, a reminder of the fact that change is a normal part of life:  
"Life is full of transitions, and most of us don’t like this fact. We would prefer to attain a place of comfort and safety and clutch it to our hearts to keep, but we are not allowed to do so. Just as ocean tides ebb and flow, our lives are always in motion" (p.28). 
 Nothing unusual is happening to me.  Children grow up and get married, people retire, and loved ones get Alzheimer's disease.   However, I learned awhile back that simply because many people undergo the same sort of sorrows, that this does not diminish the caliber of compassion our Heavenly Father holds for any beloved one of us.  I know the Lord weeps with me, but I also know He has promised me a future and a hope.  It will be interesting to see what the future holds as I prepare to turn the next page in my life's story. 

Insight:  Anchor your heart to the Lord. Although everything around you may be in a state of upheaval, God does not change.

Scripture:  "I, the Lord, do not change" (Malachi 3:6)." 


  1. Linda,

    God bless you as your journey continues. A wedding! Any chance your mom can attend?

    I retired from teaching and all that stress and choose when I want to work now to help financially. I am my husband's caregiver and he finally acknowledges that he has Alzheimer's.

    I had to learn to manage worry about the future as you have. I believe for you.


  2. It has been a challenging week at our place with 2 car accidents and one teen's lost job. It is good to remember the things you have shared.
    HE cares!!