My Mother had Alzheimer. She was diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s disease in February 2004. My Dad passed away in October 2001. The disease seemed to rapidly progress after his death. I hate this disease. It robs you of memories and all those things that make up who you are. One of the hardest parts of this disease is having a Mother who doesn’t remember you.
My Mother and I had a special mother-daughter relationship. We were close and so it hurts all the more. I was the oldest of four daughters and there was five years between the next sister and me. That means I had five years all to my self. And yes, I was spoiled! Mother and I enjoyed many of the same things. She taught me to sew and cook, and her love for arts and crafts and home design transferred to me. She was a social person and enjoyed being involved with church and other social organizations.
Mother and Daddy took me to church and taught me about Jesus. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was twelve years old during a revival. My Mother accepted Christ when she was a teenage girl and my Dad was older when he accepted Jesus as his Savior. I know she loved the Lord because she told me so and she also modeled the love of Christ in her life. She was not perfect and neither am I. She was my Mother and I loved her.
As we dealt with this illness, many thoughts crossed my mind. Why did this happen? How do you handle the emotions that go up and down on a day-to-day basis? And the following question came to my mind:
“When you forget who you are or who your family is, do you remember Jesus?”
The answer to that question according to my way of thinking is yes. I believe you do. As the disease gets progressively worse, you may not be able to express it but perhaps somewhere inside the presence of Jesus is even stronger. Since the Holy Spirit lives within each Christian until the day we die, He is still there because His promise says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
The Lord allowed me to see glimpses of His presence in my Mother on several occasions. One night, I spent the night with Mother. Mother and I had a pleasant evening and I thought she remembered my name although she never called it. When she went to bed, I asked her if she wanted to pray. She said she did and begin to pray, “Dear Father”. She prayed a very sweet prayer and even prayed for this “sweet lady that was staying with her tonight”. And then she spoke to God in these words as she ended her prayer, “I love you, I love you, I love you. Amen.” Mother never forgot how to pray and she remembered all the words to the many hymns she had learned as a girl. Mother died on June 8, 2011 when she simply forgot how to breathe.
Death is hard and tears at your heart. For Christians there is comfort in knowing that our loved ones are in the presence of God. My Mother’s mind is whole again and she has been reunited with my Dad, my sister, her Mother, Father and brother and many more that have gone before her. But most of all she is in the presence of the one that never left her or forsook her. The one she loved until death and worships Him now. His name is Jesus and He saved her soul.
Thank you Father for allowing me to see You through her and thank you for your care for your children even when our mind doesn’t remember.