I Won’t Lie. I Am Not OK.

Pad of Paper & PenMonday, August 18

By Sara Parkin of Midland, Michigan, USA

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

—Psalm 9:9–10 NRSV

I am back after an absence, to report on my journey with Alzheimer’s disease.

My sister, Penny, told me I need to tell my friends why they have not heard from me for a while. So today, I will try to share with you. I am in my bed writing now. It will take a long time for me to write. I tried to write a blog, but I could not get my brain on track.

I was tired. I dropped back into my old way of not wanting to do anything. When people ask me how I am doing, I say with a smile, “I am fine,” or “God is so good to me,” or “God has blessed me so much,” and I mean it. Sometimes I don’t. I lie! I am not OK. I can’t write to my friends or to my family. Why? It takes me so long to get my words out. I can’t use the letters to make a word without help.

It has been 1½ hours to write about 20 sentences. It makes me cry. I am taking a break now so I can share what gratitude means to me and others with Alzheimer’s disease.

Gratitude means, “Thank you.”

I am back struggling. I know better. I have been so blessed by God. I know God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit love me, care for me, walk with me, cry with me, laugh with me, and listen to me. I have family and friends who will do the same thing. I am not alone. Yet, I forget to call for help. Or is my ego working so that I can do it alone? Maybe, I don’t want others to know my weakness. I know I am not perfect, but I want to be. You know what, it is time to be grateful and get out of my pity time. OK, here we go!

God, thank you for being with me through my struggles with Alzheimer’s. Yes, I know that my brain is playing with me. I knew there would be changes in my brain. I also have faith in you, Lord. And, thank you again for loving me.

Prayer for Peace God who struggles with us, be patient with us as well. Form in us gratitude for the gifts we have, that we may help those who lose hope. Help us encourage a renewal of faith and a feeling of peace.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call to Others Reflect on God’s call in your life. Quietly reflect on the moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation to expand your gifts. Write in your journal or quietly reflect on images and insights that come. When have you experienced God through the calling and gifts of others? How do your gifts connect with the call of God you notice in your family, friends, congregation, or community?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will help someone be aware of their gifts and be grateful for the ministry they offer.

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5 Comments

  1. Sara,
    I am touched by your courage to express your struggle and challenge with Alzheimers. Over the past four years I have been blessed to be able to be along my mother’s side as she also lives with the disease. Through every stage she has brought sadness and joy for our family. I often ask myself why God allows my mom to decline ever so gradually with a current need for around the clock care. My dad and I have a team of caregivers helping us keep her at home. Your testimony sharing Psalms 9:9-10 has given me strength as we prepare for growing challenges. I pray for you Sara and know your faith will carry you and wrap you in peace.

  2. Vera Entwistle

     /  18 August 2014

    Hello Sarah, I was so glad to see your latest chapter in your story. I have bee watching for news from you. You are on my prayer list! God continue to bless you.

  3. Carol Norris Vincent

     /  18 August 2014

    Thank you, Sara, for sharing your faith and your feelings with us. As a chaplain at The Groves, I visit many people with Alzheimer’s, and your testimony will help me understand better their struggles and their need to feel God’s love. May YOU feel His love each moment.

  4. Karen Price

     /  18 August 2014

    This writer stated the words I needed to reflect on to help me with my pain that slows me down so much. Thank you so much.

  5. Susan Webber

     /  18 August 2014

    Sara Parkin’s testimony touched me since I also walked with my Mother for several years who suffered with dementia before she died in 2013. Mom could appear very normal to others but if I needed her to sign her name, I needed to help her by writing her name out on a piece of paper first. Then she would meticulously over at least 30 minutes try to copy my example of her signature. She would have to exert all of her ability to concentrate and focus to accomplish one signature. Afterward, like a child learning how to write, I would assure her that she had succeeded! Sara’s ability to still communicate with us all is a blessing to be cherished!

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