I have a dear friend who placed his wife in a facility a few months ago. We talk about how we have to stay busy and not allow ourselves to "think too much". Lest, the "thinking" take us right down the drain of depression. Personally, I usually make a conscious decision never to go within a football field of that drain.
Today, however, I've been thinking. It's not been a bad thing though.
One thing that Alzheimer Disease gives you is time to reflect on the meaning of life, it's purpose, the "why's" , the "what's the point". For Jerry and I, it's been 14 years of pondering. Today was one of those days. I mean, let's face it. From the day we are born we are beginning the process of dying. Probably if we knew that when we were born, we'd prefer not to enter this world at all....I mean....really. Why does life have to get harder than the giggles of toddlerhood? Jerry and I have had an awesome life with faith, family and friends...great parents, a home, travels...we've been very blessed....this is why I am reflecting today.
Once the reality of knowing that "none of us are getting out of this alive" is accepted, we can then try to figure out "why" we are here and "what" our purpose is. For some...they want to feed the poor...help the sick.....then their are those who want to be the next rock star, famous artist or writer, the richest tycoon...and so on. For me.....????
Well. for me, it's to honor to the one who gave me life in the first place.... in all that I do.....thus, love others, bring a smile, share what I know, listen to a crying friend, ...whatever.
As Jerry grows weaker, I see God as even greater. Jerry's response to me is getting less and less, however, today he at least responded when I came in by standing up and coming toward me. I walked him down the hall and into the room where our Monday song fest was about to begin. I sat him down. His stare was straight ahead, eyes wide pools of faded blue...his mouth was droopy with a little bit of "sugar water" drooling down. We held hands with our fingers interlocked and laying in my lap. There was very little expression during the entire hour of singing. No sound from him. No words. I couldn't help but be appreciative of a God who doesn't demand performance but only wants us to love him. I couldn't help but thank Him in this time of significant weakness and look forward with hope in preparation for the last days. The hope of the future is far greater than the desperation. Jerry and I both have been secure in that hope.
Because none of us gets out of this alive.....this life is worth living because of this LIVING HOPE that Jesus provided.
And as the last song was sung....the "silence was broken". The residents began to sing the old hymn Victory in Jesus, My Savior Forever, and I felt movement. I looked down at our hands interlocked. Jerry, who had remained expressionless throughout the hour, moved his thumb. Wrapped across the top of my hand, it began to weakly pulse against my skin. The song had gotten through. From the beginning to the end he knew. His hope is still inside.