So what would you like to know about Kathleen Brown? That I’m a wife? Mother to three grown sons? Grandmother of four? That I’m a Texan through and through, though I love my part-time home in Colorado?
Maybe. But if I were you, I’d want to find out what Kathleen knows about being a caregiver, living with Alzheimer’s, living with miracles.
My mom had Alzheimer’s. In the early stages, Dad was able to hide it from me, but eventually, the behavior I had accepted as the eccentricities of getting older became too extreme to ignore. At that point, I knew we needed to determine what was wrong with Mom and how to help her. Although Alzheimer’s was the last diagnosis Dad and I wanted to hear, naming the disease made us able to move forward.
Dad insisted he could continue to take care of Mom at home, but as I began spending more time with them, I realized he must have help. Even without the macular degeneration that was stealing his eyesight, Dad was exhausted. He had taken over the shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry. As Mom dropped activities one by one, Dad picked them up. When he refused to bring part-time professional help into their home, I became Mom’s caregiver.
I was untrained, unprepared, and afraid. I dreaded the day when I would come to the end of my rope: when Mom’s needs would finally be too great, when I couldn’t persuade her to eat or take her medications, when I could no longer control her anger or her irrational behavior. I felt isolated and alone, certain I would one day be powerless against Alzheimer’s.
That day never came. Instead…I saw miracles. Mom finally deciding to drink some juice. Suddenly agreeing to get in the car for a doctor’s appointment. Quietly blessing a difficult day with a trusting smile at bedtime. The miracles of the Lord’s power and comfort and care let me know I was never alone. Big and small manifestations of His Presence and His love told me I wasn’t working only by my own strength. My growing trust in Him and the expectation of His help energized me and brightened my outlook. Not only did my fear diminish, my awareness of the moments of joy still shining in our lives grew.
With a new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s every 69 seconds, I know millions of people today are looking for the same help I needed. I offer these devotionals, based on my own experience, as a means of assuring you–you are never alone.The God of all hope is always with you, and where He is, miracles abound.
Be watchful! This is a time for miracles!