I shared, in an earlier blog, how my mother has Alzheimer’s. I was blown away and humbled by all the friends who offered prayers and words of encouragement after I posted it. Thank you for that, and please don’t stop. This is a hard journey.
Now it’s time for an update.
First let me say, I picture this hideous disease as a voracious spider spinning sticky strands of memory-killing webbing. At first, there’s just confusion. Strong memories still manage to escape, but with time, more strands are added. More and more and more…until even the strongest memories are rendered immobile, trapped, suffocated, the life sucked out of them. That being said, it has progressed to the point where Mama doesn’t know who I am, more often than not. She hugs me, and thanks me for coming, but then tells me she can’t remember my face. She can’t even remember the word for “face.” The first time it happened, I have to admit, I cried. I knew it was going to happen, but it didn’t make it hurt any less.
Recently, we went to my parents’ house to celebrate my husband and my daddy’s birthdays. Yes, two of my favorite men share the same birthdate—one is 81, the other 53. After supper, Mama was talking—mostly nonsensical stuff—with my husband, but she kept repeating, “Our God makes NO mistakes,” always emphasizing the word, “no.” She must’ve said it fifty times. At first, I was thinking, “Yeah, but what about this terrible disease that’s destroying your mind, stealing your memories, turning everyone who loves you into strangers in your head?”
The words came again: Our God makes NO mistakes.
But this has to be a mistake. Why would God allow this in our family? Why would God put my Daddy through this? Watching the woman he’s loved for 60 years turn into a child? Aging him more than time ever could?
Our God makes NO mistakes. Each time she said it, my stubborn mind erected another argument. Over and over.
Our God makes NO mistakes… the words whisper along the corridors of my mind even now.
And suddenly, it’s as if there’s a click or ding in my head, the proverbial “light bulb” or “Aha” moment.
God was speaking to me, using my Mama’s voice. He can do that, you know. He was reminding me that even when things feel hopeless, He is my hope, and He’s walking this journey with me, right through the valley that’s shadowed with death. He didn’t do this to Mama. It’s the result of sin, just like every other bad thing that happens. Yes, He allowed it. No, I don’t know why, and I may never know. My job is to trust Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things—yes, even Alzheimer’s—God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (NIV)
God is going to heal my Mama…in Heaven. There, she won’t have Alzheimer’s spider webs mucking up her new, glorified brain. I look forward to the day she greets me on those golden streets. She’ll smile, hug me, remember me, and we’ll shout together, “OUR GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES!”