Who Am I?

Tuesday, April 30, 2024
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Listen while you read: "Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven"1 (Lyrics)

1 Timothy 5:8 – If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (NIV)

My mother lived on her own for 24 years after the death of her husband, and at the age of 87, she started showing the early signs of dementia. We learned that with dementia, the loss of memory becomes of primary concern for families when their loved one becomes forgetful and unable to function. When that happened to our mom, we had to step in and take care of her.

As the disease became more serious, she would go shopping and forget where she had parked the car, or she couldn't find her way home. She hid jewellery and money, and forgetting where she had put it, she blamed others for stealing it. She couldn't find the remote control or remember how to turn on the television. She forgot how to use the light switch to turn the lights on and off. When we went to see her, she'd often be sitting alone, hungry, and lost in her dark condo. The scariest lapse was forgetting to turn off the stove. When we couldn't trust mom to cook for herself anymore, my sister, Shevon, began to drop off food for her, but it would be found days later uneaten in the refrigerator, accounting for her rapid weight loss. As a result of her forgetting to eat, my sister started to prepare, bring, and eat meals with our mom daily. My mother's sad and questioning eyes during this time spoke volumes as she inwardly asked, "Who am I?"

When she needed more supervision, my mom lived with me for five months, and I organized a daily bus pickup and drop-off for her to attend an adult Alzheimer's daycare facility. They kept mom engaged in different activities several times a week until that became untenable. After her stint with me, we sold her condo, she moved in with my sister, and we hired full-time home care for her. But after a while, this situation was no longer manageable. So, after much prayer for God's guidance, we decided to place her in an assisted living facility. At first, she was very upset and extremely confused in this unfamiliar environment. However, we had no choice but to place her there for her own well-being.

It is during these difficult times that we need to turn everything over to God and ask for His direction. If you are going through a similar situation with a parent, family member, or someone else, remember that you are not alone: others are in the same situation, and God is right there with you. We show gratitude and love for our aged parents when we care for them.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we lift up before You those of us who are caring for family members, those who are themselves struggling with dementia, and ourselves, too. Help us all to find peace and comfort in Your guidance. Thank You for giving us the strength to cope each day. This we pray in Your name. Amen.

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About the author:

Yvonne Myers <yvonneemyers@gmail.com>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for sharing your own heartache with us. God knows….even when we don’t. Blessings.

    As many today, you were called to care for your aging mother. To say it is easy would not be truthful, but I see that you turned to the One who is always by your side. Thanks for sharing!

    Your story is my story with my husband. Support from CCAC, family, and day programs enabled us to be together until the final 3 months of his life. Prayer helped me make decisions to live joyfully as long as possible, including our annual Caribbean cruise.

    Indeed these types of situations are very difficult and quite agonizing, Yvonne. Thank you for sharing your experience and being an encouragement to others struggling in this way.

    Thank you, Yvonne, for another of your special devotional writings. Dementia is certainly a very sad illness to deal with and these days there seems to be more and more people suffering from it. Blessings for sharing about your Mom’s situation and thankfully there are long term care facilities available these days.

    Good Morning Yvonne,
    Thank you for sharing from your personal experience and very difficult time in your family’s life. I have been praying your prayer because we all need prayers to help us through each day.
    May you continue to share your faith with others. Blessings.

    Yvonne – Recently I spoke with the granddaughter of a dear friend held prisoner by Alzheimer’s. She told of losing her Grandma bit by bit, until only a shell remains. Your family is facing the same trial, and God strengthens you to meet the needs of your loved one.
    Thanks for sharing.

    A loving family. Thank you for sharing When mum and dad came to live with us, so many people asked how we could do that – giving up our own activities often. It was such a fulfilling, wonderful experience for us. So nice to have you put everything into perspective.

    Thank you, Yvonne, for today’s very relevant devotional. I think those of us who have been called upon to help out and provide care for any of our aging family members during long term sickness either physically or mentally are in the majority.
    I was given that opportunity twice with 2 different aging relatives and if I had it to do over again, I would do it with more excellency. Thank you for writing.

    Thank you for that touching and personal devotional.
    I have a growing number of folk with this condition on my prayer lists and know how exhausting it must be for their partners and families. It was a timely reminder of our mental fragility.
    With gratitude,

    Good morning, Yvonne,
    You said, “It is during these difficult times that we need to turn everything over to God and ask for His direction.” I am going through a similar situation with a family member, and I know that I am not alone: others are in the same situation, and God is right there with us. But it is still hard to cope on a day-to-day basis.
    Thank you for writing about your experiences.

    Needless to say, we are experiencing this in our midst here, but also in my many journeys near and not so near.
    Last weekend when the “In Memorium” of the Renewal Fellowship’s were announced, of the 7 deaths reported in 2023, I was at 4 of the funerals.
    Saddened when family say “no funeral”.
    Thanks for those words.

    Very, very tough situation, Yvonne! The disease of the mind is so destructive to one’s identity. Blessings.


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