Sunday, October 30, 2016

Joy Comes!

A few years ago, I attended a tractor pull during our little town's Fourth of July celebration. The tractors competed to pull a weight transfer sled, and the winner was the one that traveled the longest distance before grinding to a halt. Three months ago when I became unable to provide care for my mom,  I felt like one of those tractors that had become unable to pull a steadily increasing weight.

Placing Mom into nursing home care has only signaled a new phase of this 12-year-and-counting "pull." Don't misunderstand; we have been constantly aware of the Lord's provision for us throughout the challenges we've faced. There has been grief, but there has also been sustenance in the midst of the sadness; we have had oases of peace and laughter.

There have been multiple touch points of grace; incidents that have illustrated God's promise that there will be a season of peace and freedom from sorrow, even before that final going home we as Christians are promised.  One of these occurred at the beginning of my time of caregiving when our elder law attorney spoke words I've not forgotten:  "Linda, there will be life for you after your mother's Alzheimer's." This statement hit my heart with Holy Spirit fueled truth, and I received it as a promise from the Lord.

Yesterday I returned home from a truly awful session at the nursing home that had to do with some neglected caregiving issues and miscommunications. By the time I reached home I felt battered and worn.  I had nearly forgotten that my adult son had asked if the wives and young children of his 3 closest friends could "hang out" at our house while the men did some skeet shooting on the hill above our house. I had gladly agreed; I love having these wonderful young people in our home.

When I opened my front door, the first thing I saw was a beautiful 13 month old baby boy toddling across the carpet. He stopped and gazed at me with wondering eyes.  A four-month-old was laying on a blanket having "tummy time," and my own precious 11 month old granddaughter toddled from her mother's arms to mine.  She blew kisses, wrinkled her nose, stuck out her tongue, then obligingly tilted her bowed head toward me for Grammy's customary "kiss on the head."  Finally, three little boys ranging in ages from 2 to 3 came tearing around the corner brandishing light sabers. It would have taken a deeper depression than the one I was harboring to have resisted such a greeting. My mood lightened.

I am grateful for these years of caregiving. I've learned so much of God's faithfulness through trials, and it is a testimony to His virtuosity that the very things Satan designs to destroy us become stepping stones to blessing. But I am also grateful for promised joy when sorrows come to an end.

...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 30:5 KJV

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13 NIV


  1. It seems the caregiving doesn't end just because your mom isn't with you 24/7. I hope that things begin to be more smooth for you. The laughter and smiles of the little ones are just the therapy you needed right then. Have a blessed day.

    1. Thank you Melanie, for this sweet and supportive comment.

  2. Hi, I'm a family physician and I loved your article. I see/treat patients and their families (and other caregivers) that struggle with Alzheimer's disease on a daily basis. I have just written a blog post at that compliments your blog. Maybe it will help someone else who's looking for more information. It's called "10 Things We should all understand about Alzheimer's Disease (and a Bonus!)"