Questions without Answers

“I pray…that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”  (Eph. 1:18-19)

 Hot coffee. Thank you, Lord. It was a long night.

The café next to the motel is a classic–breakfast served all day, coconut and chocolate cream pies displayed in frosty glass cases, endless refills of coffee. I lift the mug to my lips and tell myself everything is fine. 

But the confusion continues this morning. In the tiny motel room, Mom couldn’t find the toilet. It was plainly visible, but she couldn’t find it.

What should I do about this? I don’t even know what “this” is.

Across the table from me, my parents have their heads together over the breakfast menu.  I hear Dad suggesting ham and eggs. Or French toast. Or how about good ole’ oatmeal? His voice is loud, too loud, but Mom doesn’t correct him as she normally would. 

While I was awake last night, I came up with a mental list of things Mom is doing differently. Or doesn’t do at all anymore. Like answering the phone. It’s always Dad now, though he hates to talk on the phone. Ironing. For 34 years, Mom washed, starched, and ironed every shirt Dad wore to work. Even the pants he wore to mow the lawn were scrubbed and pressed. Now his khakis are wrinkled and his collars look tired. And gardening. The plants and shrubs Mom tended so carefully are my father’s charges now. 

When did she become so inactive?

Bacon? Ham? Sausage?  Dad tells Mom to just make up her mind, just choose. But she keeps repeating, “Whatever you’re having. That’s what I want. The same as you.”

Just choose?  An hour ago she couldn’t choose what to wear. If I hadn’t helped, would she still be standing there, looking down at her little brown suitcase? Is Dad doing this at home? Helping her get dressed? 

I look at them across the table. Mom’s eyes are fixed on my father. His are scanning the café, probably homing in on the goodies in the dessert case. But when he turns from the pies, he meets her gaze in a way I ‘ve watched since childhood. About this there is no confusion. Their eyes speak clearly their devotion to each other.

The world seems to settle back on its axis. With a silent promise to expect only good things, I drink my coffee and look forward to the day. 

Thank You, Father, for parents who still love each other, in spite of the changes the years have thrust on them. But Lord, I’m scared. Have I overlooked too much for too long? Has Dad been hiding this from me? Why? What do I do now? Who knows how Mom will act tonight? Tomorrow? Ahh, yes. You do. You know, Father. You have always known what this day holds. You have a plan and this day is part of it. Thank You for helping me see the truth. Open my eyes to see the things that have changed; open my spirit to trust in the things that haven’t. 

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About atimeformiracles

I'm a writer. And a speaker. And an advocate for victims of Alzheimer's. I write about a lot of things, but right now Alzheimer's has taken center stage. You'll see some of my work on my blog If you're a caregiver, this blog is for you, from someone who has been in your shoes. I offer help in the form of tips and strategies gained through my personal experience. I offer encouragement in the form of witness: You are never alone. The God of all hope is always with you, and where He is, miracles abound. I speak to groups on the same subject, sharing helps and challenging caregivers to expect joy on the path through Alzheimer's. It's a rough road, but it leads through terrain of intense beauty. I can point out some of the miraculous sights along the way. In the U.S., a new diagnosis of Alzheimer's is made every 69 seconds. Please join me in praying for those suffering from the disease and for those who care for them.

2 thoughts on “Questions without Answers

  1. What beautiful insights. I think anyone embarking on a life journey unexpectedly could benefit from reading your blog and devotionals. It’s a reminder that, as much as we might try, we are not in control of our lives. When painful things happen and our life seems to spiral out of control, God is the rock that we can cling to for balance. Thank you for sharing.

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