Those of us who have had loved ones with any form of dementia, know what it is to walk in darkness before admitting or acknowledging that there is a problem. Those with the dementia must surely have been dwelling in the land of the shadow of death as the disease crept up innocuously, gradually grabbing their faculties, forcing them to flounder until found out.
My mom was what one might have termed eccentric for most of her life, and so her new little idiosyncrasies went unnoticed or seemed acceptable for quite some time.
I remember the day at her dinner table when she removed the carrot she had just put in her mouth, gazed at it blankly, asked what it was, and exclaimed she’d never eaten one of those before. She was 75. Not only had she eaten them before, she had planted, cultivated and prepared them all her life. My blood ran cold; my breath and heart seemed to stand still. Something was very wrong. The roller coaster ride which accompanies any serious illness in a family began, and none of us, least of all her, could get off.
As hard as it is to watch our loved ones diminish, and though there be terrible times to walk through, God is with us in even the smallest of pleasures: a ray of sunshine, a little bird, a phone call from a friend, a kind word. It is He who gives us the strength to carry on, teaching us love, acceptance and understanding for others within and outside our families.