Monday, December 3, 2012

Alzheimers and Other Impossibilities

I met Ron some twenty years ago when he and I attended the same Bible Study group. In this circumstance, we studied the book of Proverbs and Ron and I came to a firm appreciation of one another and the inspiration we caught from each other via the wisdom of Proverbs. Since that time I have become a caregiver of almost seven years and I am now learning of Ron’s similar journey.

Only recently I discovered the difficultness of Ron’s walk with his wife (the girl). I had noticed a change in him but did not know what it was until I received the following communiqué. With Ron’s permission, I am quoting him and readers will understand my reactions rather quickly and why I thought it one of the more beautiful and tender things I have read.

Ron writes:
“…This may sound off the wall, but in a strange way, I feel this whole episode has been a training ground, and God is leading the class. I say this because, it seems the more "Patient, understanding, caring, forgiving, and merciful", I have been towards the girl, the more I have greater compassion, not just for the girl, but for most of the people I know.
“Over the recent years I have found myself shedding many many tears, regarding the girl. It was like several years ago, I realized she was going into her world, there were pieces of her personality, that began to disappear. I found getting angry, did nothing, but destroy my worth first, trash my serenity, and it seemed like I was facing one failed solution
after another.

“Finally I accepted this was what was going on, and when people around asked, I plainly told them of her condition. That acceptance, allowed me to begin to think in a different way. The idea I was going to fix anything, with respect to her, soon was ground into dust, that any breeze soon removed.

“It was then, that several things began to happen, she became more relaxed, more loving towards me, and most of all, more and more dependant. The trick has been learning to adjust to each new change in her, often its memory related, but sometimes it's her just not being able to do things like cooking, laundry, shopping.

“Once I understood her inabilty to function, it then became a matter of just taking on a series of other chores. Thank God we are retired, well at least she is for now.

“One of my great blessings has been, my daily reading of the Word. And of all the chapters God had planned from the beginning of time, for me to be reading, was none other than the book of Job. On more than one occasion, I found myself at a loss for words, patience understanding. Yet I have come to know, His Will, is found in my kindness, love understanding, and perseverance, even when it seems unfair.

“A verse I had to look up, because I forgot the location, but had remem-bered the essence is this "NAU 2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

“The last nine words are the story for me,
“For when I am weak, then I am strong‘. I have no doubt of my weakness, frailty, and more blemishes than I need, yet the Lord finds Grace enough for me. I know joy each day, I fear no tomorrow will pour out bitterness on my life that I will not be able to cope with. And so far while this whole situation has brought many tears, and much anguish, I have held my faith in God. I do often ask that he strengthen me, so as I don't deface Him or the Word, with any of my actions.”

Alzheimers is just one of those more difficult bumps in the road of our human journey. It raises more questions and issues than many can deal with, and many which some of us have had to cope with at some level. My wife helped her sister care for our brother-in-law Bill for twelve of his fourteen years on that journey. We have agonized with John and Jeannette who are still navigating their way, each from their own world of reality and unreality.

There are many things in this life that are not fair … answerable … or even satisfactory. They leave many questions and fewer conclusions. Ron expressed himself in words many of us struggle with but he also draws some conclusions that deserve our most thoughtful attention.

Out of her blindness, Fanny Crosby wrote:
“I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice / And it told thy love to me;But I long to rise in the arms of faith / And be closer drawn to thee. . .”

Four decades of adult life struggling on his bed of affliction that destroyed his career as a traveling evangelist, Charles Naylor discovered,
“Whether I live or die / Whgether I wake or sleep / Whether upon the land Or on the stormy deep / Whether ‘tis serene and calm Or when the wind winds blow / I shall not be afraid-- I am the Lord’s I know …”

We recently shared in the passing of longtime friend Tonda Forsman, as she completed her difficult journey with a sense of triumph. New to me, this old hymn spoke volumes about God’s Word being a “lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105):
“Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart / Nought be all else to me, save that Thou aret / Thou my bst thought, by day or by night / Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light …”

This I know: God is the Gentle Shepherd upon whom we can depend. We do not walk such pathways alone. No matter how dark the night, how impossible the situation; there is strength, and joy, and love. We package it together as faith, and work it one day at a time, but there is the ultimate victory of humanity before us.

This is Warner’s World; I am walkingwithwarner,


Miami Ram said...

interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thank you...

Dade Ram

Miami Ram said...

Hi there, awesome site. I thought the topics you posted on were very interesting. I tried to add your RSS to my feed reader and it a few. take a look at it, hopefully I can add you and follow...

Dade Ram

Wayne said...

Thanks Dade Ram; I've been offline a week or so and am dreadfully behind but welcome your reading and your commenting as soon as I can get back on track ...

Wayne said...

Thanks Dade Ram; I've been offline a week or so and am dreadfully behind but welcome your reading and your commenting as soon as I can get back on track ...