Sunday, July 13, 2008


Hate is a strong, strong word. We have been taught all of our lives not to hate, but there is something that I hate. I loathe. I despise. I detest. It is something that crept into my family and robbed me of something very, very precious about 12 years ago. Alzheimer's disease stole my mother from me. She is in the very final stage of this war. There have been so many battles along the way and Alzheimer's has won each and every one of them but it is not the champion. My mom has fought with bravery against this beast. I hate Alzheimer's. I hate the way it allows worry to creep into my mind about my own life, about my daughter's life. I hate the way it stole the life from my mother's eyes and from her body. I hate the way it stole her voice from her. I hate the way it stole all of her abilities to do the very things I take for granted everyday.

She continues to wage war against this disease but it will have the victory in the here and now. My one and only peace is found in the FACT that it will not have the victory in what happens after she takes her final breath. She will be whole. She will know who she is. She will know her family stood beside her till the end. She will know the love that her husband of 50 years (this September) showed her in the final years of her life. She will KNOW! She will see her son who went before her so many years ago and she will hold the precious grandchild that escaped from my own womb this past January. She will KNOW them! Most importantly she will see her Jesus and she will KNOW his plan for this. She will KNOW why she waged war with this disease and be at peace with his plan for her life.

It literally breaks my heart into pieces when I really look at her and see her. She doesn't look like my mother. Her body is just a shell now housing her till she is called home. We are all amazed at how long she continues to fight. When I was pregnant with my daughter over 2 years ago, we didn't think she was going to make it to her birth, but she did. Then we felt like she held on for her first grandchild. Now 2 years have passed and she is still hanging on. Part of me hopes that she can hang on to this September when she and my dad will celebrate 50 years of marriage. A marriage that has been filled with much heart ache...being told you could not have a child, adopting a son only to lose him to leukemia at the age of 13, never fully recovering emotionally from this loss, being diagnosed with something as horrifying as Alzheimers. It has also been filled with joy...having a daughter that you were told you could not have, adopting a son and having so much joy and life filled into 13 years, being able to live your vows of in sickness and in health for others to see.

I don't know why the Lord hasn't taken her home yet. I have been at the point where I am ready for him to take her. She is not here anymore. She is not able to participate in life anymore. I have many regrets about my mom. When she was figuring out that something was wrong, I was busy with college, being engaged, getting married, being married. Those years were a flurry of being busy. I didn't realize the enormity of the situation that was going on with my mom. She never shared with me but I knew something wasn't right. I wish so much that I could go back and just be there with her, hold her hand and tell her how much I love her. I hope she knows that even now. I hope she knows that her baby girl loves her so much and misses her even more.

How often I will the phone to ring and for it to be her to ask me how my day is. How often I want to call her and cry to her about the heartache that I am feeling over this or that. How often I long to see her with my daughter playing. How often I just want to go out for lunch with her. How I just want to see her smile. None of these things are meant to be. There is a plan. It is a plan bigger than mine. Sometimes I wonder about this plan though when I see how Alzheimers has victimized my mother. It is faith that takes over and I have to trust and KNOW that He is in control even now, even when I talk to my mother and there is no sign of her knowing me, no life in her eyes, no voice left in her mouth. There is a plan. I trust that. I have to.


shannonfay said...

You are an amazing woman, Daisy....and I count myself exceedingly blessed to be considered your friend. I love you, and am here for you....even when I'm not "there" I'm praying for you.

cstembel said...

I second Shannon's sentiments -- and I, also, am here for you if you ever need anything at all. Your post is so moving. I am so sorry for what you, your father, and your entire family has endured for so long. You are an amazing testiment to faith that I look up to and hope to emulate some day.

Joy ☺ said...

When he has tested you, you shall come forth as GOLD.
Right now Mindums, I'm thinking you are at the PLATINUM level. Seriously. Is that the highest it goes on the scale?
This made me cry and cry. I want to be right there with you sharing with you your pain and holding you up when you are weak.
We need to get together soon.
I got your email today so I will write you back asap. As a matter of fact, I've adopted you in to my family so that you can have sisters now. (I will even share all the hand-me-downs)
Love you very much.

Allison said...

Mindy you are soooo amazing!! I remember in jr. high looking up to you and thinking wow! she is such an incredible woman of that I am grown up... :) hehe I still look up to you and how you handle your marriage and motherhood, and hope that I can be as successful in life's struggles and have just a little bit of the same strength you have shown through everything. Love you Mindy!!

ashley said...

thanks for the comment on my blog awhile back! i can definitely relate to this post, as we are going through similar things with my grandma. it's very hard to watch her, knowing she's not at all who she once used to be. my thoughts are prayers are with you and your mom.

Marina said...

Reading your story has brought tears to my eyes. I feel your pain because I'm going through the same thing right now. I have 4 children that now have to visit their grandma in a convalescent center. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 61 and is now in her final stages. She no longer walks or talks and were not sure she recognizes us. I too can say that I HATE Alzheimers. I will pray for you and your family.