Forget Me Not – Alzheimer’s & Faith

Forget Me Not flowers

My mother suffers from Alzheimer’s. It is a very cruel disease. Her brain is literally shrinking and becoming brittle. We first noticed it through her fading memory. A woman with the memory of an elephant began stumbling with little details, which was followed by the loss of name recall. Then she struggled with our names.

My mother was always sharp mentally and an avid reader. She played the piano for as long as I’ve been alive. She used to play for me when I sang in churches. Her next loss was her vision: macular degeneration. With the loss of memory and eyesight, her two favorite hobbies of reading and playing the piano were set aside. That’s the way it’s been. She’s slowly decaying and fading from our lives as we fade from her memory.

It’s heart-wrenching to watch her deteriorate. It’s even more painful to watch the wear on my father physically, emotionally, and mentally. He still tries to convince us he’s “full of vim, vigor, vitality, and youthful enthusiasm, but you can tell the energy is gone. Now, we’re consulting hospice as she withers away physically. She refuses to eat more than a nibble at each meal, claiming she is full.

It all sounds depressing, but within the darkness there is a light. We stop to pray at a meal and she sounds just like her old self, speaking fondly of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I ask about Him, and she’s able to answer the question. Her faith is strong despite the loss of memory and clarity. It’s a grand argument for faith being separate from our mind. You can’t convince me God is a figment of her imagination, because she lost that too. But she’s never lost Jesus.

I hope to do a study to see if this theory is supportable more than my limited experiences as a son and a pastor. If so, I think I’ll write a book about it and call it, “Forget Me Not.”


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