Aloysius Alzheimer (also known as Alois Alzheimer (1864 – 1915) was a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, which today is defined as Alzheimer’s disease.
I am personally interested in this disease because I have a family member who has this disease. You may or may not know about this disease and may not have had any interactions with anyone having the disease, however, let it be known that ‘Alzheimer’s disease’ is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills that eventually leads to the inability to carry out the simplest tasks in life. In most people with the disease—those with the late-onset type—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s, according to the National Institute of Aging.
In 2007, my Dad celebrated his 70th birthday is grand style, he had an amazing day of giving thanks to God for his life. Fast forward today, dad celebrated his 84th birthday and sadly, he has no idea about anything around him.
As a son must, I pray, I ask God, I weep, I give thanks, I fear.
God reminds me that He has a purpose for every life. Jesus illustrates this by describing God’s care for sparrows. God created every form of life on earth, including the lowly sparrow. If God cares about sparrows, He obviously cares about His own people more. My dad surely will not fall to the ground without my Father knowing and caring and, my confidence comes in knowing that nothing happens without God’s knowledge and care: hard times are not a sign that God has forgotten us.
With time, symptoms have got worse. Dad cannot recognize family, he cannot speak, read or write, he cannot do anything on his own and, now receives total care. I feel very comfortable that he is well taken care of. However, little do I think of the stress on his wife as she has the hardest time. Coping is not easy for her as she has to deal with 24/7, despite living in a good facility that takes care of dad.
And so I pause again, I understand God’s plan for my dad. Have I thought through God’s plan for his wife?
This morning I leaned that what really surrounds everything, the bottom line of it all is Love. We are called to work for the love of God and work for the love of others! I am called to give a lot more love, not just to be sorry for the situation my dad is in. I need to focus on what surrounds him and who surrounds him. I must also focus on others who also needs love, not just my family, there are many others who are struggling and looking for love.
I pray that my love for my God will grow so much more that I will, through this experience see the need to love others more, have a heart to care, and use my God given skills to serve with love.