Monday, July 4, 2011


They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow 
weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31NIV

Mother’s hand reaches for mine.  I take her hand to guide her and protect her from falling.  Her other hand is tightly grasping the object behind her.

She won’t let go.

I say, “Mother let go of the door knob."

She won’t let go.

I pry her hand away from the tight grip so she can move forward. 

For one moment in time she is caught between letting go of what’s behind and reaching out for what is ahead.  Dementia patients are trapped in this "mysterious middle".  They can’t retain what they see and hear in the present.  And their past, that which is most familiar, is also unclear.  It’s been said that Dementia is like a movie reel going backward.  I often wonder what it must be like.

Mother’s childlike personality is now who she is.  There is, however, one positive element that is sometimes overlooked.  We are a trinity.  We have a mind, body, and spirit and for the elderly, the spirit becomes the most critical and glorious part of this equation.  When the mind and body have aged, the spirit takes over and provides hope and strength to the person who seemingly has nothing left.

The Spirit gives us hope and strength ...not only to keep going....but to SOAR above it all.  The Bible says… “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12.    

I have seen people literally die because they lose hope.  I visited a man in the hospital.  His family was very concerned.  He wanted to die.  When I went to see him, I asked him if he had lost his hope.  

He said, “Yes.” 

I asked why.  I began to talk to him about his children and grandchildren.  Didn’t he want to see them grow up, and be there for graduations, weddings and great grandchildren?

I said, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength."  A few days later he was recovering, and was going home from the hospital. 

Later I asked him, “What happened?  What turned things around for you?”

He said, “I realized that I had God and my family to live for." 

People put their hope in many things.  Mother’s hope is in God.  Her face lights up when she hears a Bible verse, prays, or sings a hymn.  Her spirit gives her a calm assurance that one day she will be a resident of heaven. 

Mother became a Christian when she was twenty-two.  She fell in love with Christ, and her life was never the same.  She had a passion for His word and shared the Gospel with not only her children, but every member of her family. That passion for God's word still lies deep within her spirit and it’s renewing her strength and hope.  It gives her frail body wings.

She can still quote Psalm 23 and Psalm 100.  She still prays with me before she goes to sleep at night, and she still enjoys reading the Bible and going to church.  She loves her sunday school class and listens to the pastor’s sermon. 

For many years, Mother led a Bible study at a nursing home in her home town.  She would tell me about one lady who had Alzheimer’s.   She played the piano for everyone to sing.  Mother would start singing a song and this lady would play with all her heart..  Everyone came to listen.  Her spirit was free of the disease.  Another man suffered from dementia.  He had been a music minister for many years.  When he led the singing, I'm sure the music reached Heaven’s throne.  Everyone was amazed. One man had been a pastor for 40 years. No one could explain why, but everyone loved talking to him every day.  They would comment that he encouraged each person who would come by and talk. 

Can you explain it?  I don’t think it can be explained because science can’t dissect the spirit of a person.  We underestimate the lasting spiritual fortitude eternal hope brings into our lives.  For Christians, true hope lies where love and loss intersect.

Last night, Mother slipped and fell on her hip.  This time, I ran to a new neighbor to ask for help.  I figured it was a great way to get to know another neighbor.  She followed me to the house, and the two of us lifted Mother back into her chair.  Thank God, Mother was okay.  Afterwards, we were talking to our new neighbor.  She told us that she'd moved here from another state because of her job.  She said she was sad that she had to leave her friends. 

Mother quickly said, “I’ll be your first friend!”

My neighbor smiled and said, “Aren’t you sweet!”  I’m glad you are my first friend!”

I thanked her and when she left I was amazed.  Mother’s body is frail, her mind is confused.  Yet from her spirit flows love and kindness!  It was just what my new neighbor needed.

I got Mother in bed and we prayed.  "Tomorrow is Sunday.  You need to get to sleep because I have to get you all dolled up for church."

She said, “I want to get all dolled up!” 

Then she said, “Now tell me what you always say.....”

“I love you.”

"I love you too." 

I was sad that I wasn’t there to catch her when she fell, but God is always there and He gave her a gentle landing. She was in no pain. (No Tylenol tonight.)  

What about you???  What are you hoping for?  Are you living day by day?.....  or are you soaring?
"Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31NIV

P.S.  Are you out there???  Hello!!  If you're reading my blog...and laughing, crying (or anything in between) PLEASE post a comment!  Your comments are welcome...and encouraging for me.  Give me a "shout out"!!!  Happy 4th of July!!!


  1. This post is beautiful! I cried. My grandmother is suffering from dementia. It's heartbreaking. Thank you for writing this.

  2. Carol,
    I have been reading your blog since you began it and enjoy it very much. I'm ashamed that I haven't taken the time to leave you a comment before now.
    I can tell that the words you write about your mom come straight from your heart...God has truly given you a talent to not only deal with this disheartening condition called dementia, but the ability to be able to cope with it through your beautiful writing of this sad story. I get tears in my eyes sometimes as I read about your mom, the once vibrant, strong Christian woman I remember from long ago, but yet I also smile as you allow us a little glimpse into what is now your journey in life. Dot is a gracious, sweet lady and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to know her and to have been a small part of her life.
    I admire your strength and courage as you work tirelessly each and every day to care for her. Thanks for allowing me a little glimpse into your world today and for sharing your heart with all of us out here. Please know that you are both in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. I have said it before and I will say it again, every time there is a new post I feel like I have received a give on face book. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  4. Anonymous (1)
    Thank you for your kind words! My heart breaks for all loved ones suffering Dementia.

    THANK YOU for your encouraging words! I remember the great times our family shared with you. I'm thrilled you're reading.

    Anonymous (2)
    I'll try to keep the "gifts" coming...(ha ha). I'm so honored you're reading!!!! Thank you!!!