As I was laying in bed this morning, I did not want to get up until I had my thoughts together. My hubby was asleep in his bed (hospital bed next to my bed), and it was time for me to begin preparing his breakfast before the nurses arrived to assist me in getting him ready for the day. I started my conversation with God about leading and guiding my steps through the day and, most of all, helping me direct my thoughts positively for each hurtle.
Daily, I have people inquiring of me how I can deal with life’s issues and still walk in faith! You see, my husband was diagnosed five years ago with Dementia. We had no idea what this journey would look like, but we knew we would walk in faith; however, you know faith is tested in the fire. We just crossed over the fifty-two year mark in marriage, so my hubby knew I would be there for him. I’m sure we had no idea what this journey would look like and yet, we knew we would just keep standing through the fire.
We were twenty-nine years of age when my hubby’s dad passed away with Alzheimers. It was forty years ago and we were busy planting and building a new church far away in West Point, MS. Hubby’s dad was fourteen hours from us so we did not see him often. We would call and check on him but, you know how it is, out of sight, out of mind. Until that fateful call when we were told that, if you want to see your dad alive, you need to come this week. Henry immediately left for North Carolina and spent a week with his dad who did not even know him. The day Henry left to return home, he received a call that his dad had just passed. It was one of the worst days we can remember, and yet we just kept living. Because that is what you do.
Well, forty years later, we are now walking out the Dementia journey! How in the world can faith-based people live through such a hellacious journey! I’m realizing daily that you can allow the cares of this life to overtake you or you can choose to focus on those blessings that cover you daily. I am a blessed woman. I have had, not a perfect marriage, but a good marriage. A stable marriage! Not because we were perfect but because we fought holding hands. Even though there were nights we went to bed upset, we still went to bed together. We never left our bed.
I remember, during a rocky time in our marriage, I threw some clothes in a bag and let Henry know I was leaving. He grabbed my bag and said, “Hold on a minute and I’ll pack my bag and go with you.” This was our course in life. We would fight and then forgive.
I don’t think we ever did anything bad enough to deserve where we are today. If I thought our today was because of our previous actions, I would be trying to recoup all that we had lost in transit and redo what had not been done. However, I know that this Dementia journey is not about punishment. I do not believe our God looks at you and determines you will get cancer or lupus or diabetes. We live in a fallen world. Remember, we are in this world but not of this world. I remember a song we sang when I was a little girl. “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” That’s where I am today. That’s why I can get myself focused in the early morning and serve my hubby lovingly all day long. This is my season to serve, and I will serve with all the love and patience that I have been given by the One who patiently stood by me when I was unloveable. Jesus is my source and everything I accomplish in this lifetime will be directed back to Him!
Join me on my journey as I delve into the why’s and why nots of this life! Everything has a purpose! So I know it’s time for me to write!
The top photo was a picture of Henry in 2015 when we received the dreaded diagnosis that changed our journey. The bottom photo was taken today on our living room couch, Henry’s constant now. As you can see, He has lost about 80 pounds in the past few years, even though he never turns down a meal. They tell me that, because his brain is sick, it doesn’t tell his body that he has eaten his meal so he looks undernourished even though he gets fed well.