Our days are numbered from the time we are conceived. At some point we all will be called to the feet of Jesus and judged by our works. We will be either placed in heaven or thrown in hell.
I imagine you are still asking the same questions you peppered me with this morning.
“Where am I going?” You asked.
“To the doctor,” I answered.
“To the dentist,” you continued to dig further into discussion.
“Read the note,” my frustration of being asked this same set of questions within five minutes is wearing me thin.
“It says to the doctor. Do you mean the dentist?” You again question the who concept of what Dr. means.
“The doctor; I crossed out Dr. and wrote doctor, because you were confused.”
“I shouldn’t be going anywhere in my condition.” Her face worried.
“Your condition?” I asked quizzically. I am perplexed that she thinks this is a condition.
“I don’t feel like myself. I feel weird. I don’t know what’s happening to me.” She frankly stated as tears began to form in her eyes.
Changing the subject, I speak again, seeking happier moments to savior.
“Well,” I continue the conversation, “you are doing good for ninety-nine years old.
“Who me?” She asked in disbelief.
“Yes, you; can you believe you are ninety-nine?” I act surprised by the number.
“Naw…I’m not that old.” She seriously doesn’t have a clue as to her age.
These conversations I have with you almost daily. It’s not the questions I get flustered with, it’s that your memory is as sharp as a crayon right now. And, I see how it frustrates you to no end about your brain slipping away, though you are pretty confident that it’s as sharp as a tack.
Oh the truth of Alzheimer’s and Dementia is a hard pill to swallow. From the caretakers view, it’s difficult to watch you slide so quickly down this slippery slope, end over end into a dark oblivion where anxiety, depression, and more forgetfulness resides. It weighs on me heavily, so much so I wonder if I should be looking for a new job. I know your time is coming, I can feel God transforming my life into something different; somewhere new. I feel the pull into another direction, somewhere I’ve never been, yet the familiarity of it seems like something that would come naturally to me. It could be my business that is slowly getting off the ground or a new journey with new challenges, new people to know, new skills to be learned, and a new environment to become of normalcy to me.
I must say, I will miss you when you depart this world; not your questions, not your forgetfulness, not your tears, but you. I will miss your presence, your smile, your wit (when it’s there), and your stories; those I will miss very much, your stories tell so much about you. They describe a time I will never know. Times when vehicles were not of an abundance, of walking to school one way three miles in all kinds of Michigan weather. I will miss you reminiscing of ole days when you were young and those times you recant about family and friends from your youth.
I have often wondered if you have declared Jesus as your Savior. We discuss, but you ignore; or your “condition” ignores me. You say you believe what you believe, and firmly state that you have received when you were younger, but is that enough. Is it enough that you do all the Christian things, but not study His word? Has Alzheimer’s clouded your brain so much that our Lord is distant from you?
Only the Lord knows where your heart is. So, all I can be is an ambassador of Christ to show you, His love and that He cares, He’s present in our daily lives, He’s catching your tears when you weep and in your confusion.
You Gma, I will miss you.
Becker, T. J. (2018). Knowing You. Unpublished manuscript.