I Know You Do

Some days there just seems to be so little I can do. And I wonder if I’m helping at all. And then somehow Mama, in the middle of dementia, says just the right thing to bless me…

I lean close to Mama as she sits in her rocking chair and say, “Hi, Mama.”

She looks right at me and says, “I don’t know who you are.”

“I’m Cheryl.”

Dad looks likes he’s dozing and I know if I talk with Mom I may disrupt him, so I go and sit across the room. Mom doesn’t turn to face me. She keeps looking at the door and the picture on the wall. She occasionally says random things.

Dad wakes up after a few minutes and I give him the prescription I’ve picked up for him. He seems anxious to catch the news on television, so I sit by Mom a few minutes and help her eat one of the homemade cookies I’ve brought over.

Dad has the volume so loud I can’t really talk. And often these days when I do talk with Mom it seems to agitate her. I decide to leave so Dad can watch his program in peace. I say, “Good-bye Mama. I love you.”

And she answers, “I know you do.”

And I cling to that.

Because lately it feels like there is so little I can do to connect with Mom. And it grieves me to think that my visiting with her often riles her, when all I want to do is surround her with peace and joy.

Alzheimer’s is a continuing journey of learning and challenges and tears. It draws me into a deeper reliance on God and His grace. What a comfort to know, that even when Mama doesn’t know my name, God always will.

And even though I can’t always comfort Mama or be with her, God is always, constantly watching over her.

And God is with me, too. And He knows my heart. And He collects my tears and records them in His book. (Psalm 56:8)

And I call out in prayer and say, “I don’t know what to do, Lord. I’m not sure how to help. But I love You and I love Mama and Dad.”

And I picture Him smiling and gently saying, “I know you do.”

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