Thursday, September 29, 2011


I think it is so important to be WITH our Alzheimer's loved ones. They have a lonely journey if we are not there for them.  My husband wants to go WITH me on any and all errands.

I think of Sue who has stayed home WITH her hubby. He is now in the VA hospital and she can work part-time again. I saw her Wednesday and was able to hug her. We both know what we are going through when we hugged yesterday. That's the sort of hug that I give Sally when I see her. That's the sort of hug I want to give the other ladies who write/comment on this blog. I think I got the idea of HUG from Dolores.

For Pink Lady Dana who commented on the last post, I have a thought. SHADOWING. I don't know your situation there in California from here in Florida, but I would say go to the grocery store with Steve. I have read somewhere that Alzheimer's patients like to shadow their caregivers, like a puppy. Socialization helps them. We can either accept this, or we can get annoyed.  It doesn't matter if our husbands follow or if we go slowly and hold their hands. They are WITH us. Our lives have to slow down. We don't get the plan we think we need, but we get the fulfillment of being where the LORD wants us to be at this time. The Christian marriage is compared to Christ's love for His church, His bride. Christ desires to be WITH us, only we better be the puppy dog following Him, not the leader who demands He follow us.

Skye Jethani wrote a new book--With: Reimaging the Way You Relate to God.  I am thinking about his prepostions, OVER, UNDER, FROM, FOR and WITH:
  • Life OVER God. People can live without regard to God, maybe angry that God has brought Alzheimer's or some other situation into their life. They may take matters into their own hands like taking a substitute love as Barry Petersen did in Jan's Story that I wrote about here in a July book review several months ago.
  • Life UNDER God. This would be a life of duty WITHOUT the emphasis of fellowship. Legalism. These people bargain that their adherence to rules will mean that blessing must follow.
  • Life FROM God. Christians in this category go after His blessings and consumerism taints their relationship with our Father.
  • Life FOR God. People run around doing God's work and being nice. I wrote about that problem in Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill. But it isn't about what we can do for God that gives our life meaning, that pleases Him. Everything, even the mundane, is for His glory.
  • Life WITH God. Fellowship with God. In Acts 4 the members of the council saw that Peter and John, ordinary men, had been WITH Jesus.  Jethani calls believers  to be WITH Jesus.
Back to the subject of this post. How are we WITH our Alzheimer's loved ones? I am WITH my husband when we pray together and how exciting it is that the soul in an Alzheimer's patient will be there beyond when the mind goes. When I go off to teach, I insist my hubby and dog Ziggy wave goodbye and blow kisses at the window--our tradition that says we love each other. I call him when I get somewhere to say I have safely arrived. I just sat with him at the end of  a romantic movie, even though I had seen it before. I am in this journey WITH him. I just made myself unavailable to substitute one day a week so I can be WITH my husband. One day I will not be able to leave him alone at all.

Lord, give me the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22, 23
--especially gentleness and self-control--
so I can be WITH my Alzhezimer's loved one,
in sickness and in health until death do us part.


  1. Yes, being with our loved ones is important, and the deeper the person gets into the disease the more they need and want to be with their care giver.

    David has recently gone into the stage of 'shadowing' ...I'm working on a blogpost now that will mention this. I know he's feeling lost most of the time now, and being near me gives him comfort. There are days when I feel smothered.

    Glad my hugs were contagious. I send you one with prayers included.

  2. The Lord is so kind to have you share this right now. I am blessed to be WITH my Gary. When he is at his morning program for the memory impaired, I get things done that I must, but I am always so happy to see him again. Because his physical needs are becoming so great, we are in the process of getting more help in the home, and that will separate us a bit from time to time, which feels odd. I am seeking God's wisdom moving forward with this. There are many options, each needing research and prayer. This illness requires help with Activities of Daily Living, and it seems weird for others to be helping with them, but I'm over that, and just want to make a choice that will work well for Gary and I. Appreciate your prayers, ladies, as you certainly understand. My 58 year old body is needing to stay healthy so I can be Gary's helper till death do us part! Thank you for sharing such a lovely post about that companionship that comes from the 'oneness' of a marriage commitment before God.

  3. Laurie,
    I appreciate so much your words on this topic. Our husbands do indeed need us. Thanks for writing.
    Hugs and prayers,

  4. I'm always fascinated by the way the Holy Spirit works the same theme in many of His children at the same time. I'm away at a conference (first time I've had a break in a LONG TIME) and "THE" message I have received 3 times through different sources is similar to what you are sharing in this article. PTL!

  5. @Laurie I'm having trouble reaching you by email.

  6. Checking in Carol, I like how you've refurbished your blog. I've been checking in via google reader as I have the time and have actually come here for quite a while. Keep up the good work. Continuing to pray for you and your man.