Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A difficult trip to see Mom and Dad

The nursing home informed us that they believe Mom is in her final days. Alzheimer’s has about run its course and destroyed another brain – my Mom’s. Alzheimer’s is truly a wicked disease – slowly destroying a person’s memory and ability to think, yet not killing the person. Alzheimer’s patients don’t actually die from the disease directly, but they do die from it indirectly.

I went up to IL to be with Mom and Dad for a few days last week. I wanted to see Mom and express my love and appreciation to her – again – even though she might not comprehend what I would say. It was so good to hold Mom’s hand and kiss her on her forehead as I shared how much I loved her!

And I wanted to hang out with Dad to express my love and appreciation and support to him. It’s a very difficult time for Dad. I feel like he is finally allowing himself to accept, and face, the fact that Mom is dying. She has been such a huge part of his life for the last 62 years. And I think he just couldn’t even allow himself to think about what life might be like without Mom. But now with Mom obviously in her final days – I feel like he has had to accept it and start to feel it. He has been real weepy over the last few weeks. It’s hard to see and hear but I do think it is good. He cried a lot while I was with them last week, and so did I.

God calls death the last enemy. I Corinthians 15:26 says- “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” I am learning more and more the truth of this verse. No matter how old a person is or how prepared they are for death – it just doesn’t seem right. The people we have known and loved all our lives leave us. And many times they leave us through great pain. It’s so hard! There is nothing natural feeling about it – but we all go through it. We all eventually go through it when those we love die, and eventually we go through death our selves. It’s hard, but it’s so good to be a Christian and go through it with hope. Hope for all that God has promised, yes, all that Jesus Christ has paid for us to have through His death to redeem us.

The good news is that Mom and Dad have both accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior – so they are trusting Jesus and are ready – from that most critical standpoint – for what is coming.

I am truly a blessed man. My parents expressed their love for us kids in so many wonderful ways. We knew we were loved and we eventually saw just how much of their lives Mom and Dad gave for us. What a legacy they are still building and will leave behind. They stayed together and they sacrificed much for us. No they didn’t do everything right – but what they were able to do they did in a big way! May I be found faithful to do the same!

I want to add one more thought before I close. I am so thankful for my sister Karen and my brother in law Rohn for the love they are expressing to Mom and Dad there in Roanoke, IL. Their care is blessing Mom and Dad in so many wonderful ways. Thanks Karen and Rohn for the love you are giving. It is amazing!