My mother has dementia, and I’m her caregiver. These three years have been challenging yet rewarding. Sometimes, I can relate with King David in the book of Psalms when he alternates between desperation and optimism. Mom’s ailment has caused me to seek God while passing through the “Valley of Death” and lift my eyes to the hills from where my help comes. When overwhelmed on tough, cloud-covered days, I stare at my shoes. But other times, I smile into the sun’s warm rays.
I share my thoughts in “real time” as if writing a journal. Each curve on this long, roller coaster experience, offers new insights and spiritual lessons for me. Trying to guide my speeding, twisting car, I study physiology, psychology, pharmacology, gerontology, and caregiving tips. Though not an expert on these topics, no one knows much about Alzheimer’s Disease. Even the most knowledgeable doctor can’t diagnose it with certainty until autopsy. Neurologists don’t cure its victims, and psychologists won’t help the confused patient remember their children’s names.
Professionals teach me to cope with my mother’s illness. They fight the scourge the best they can, and I applaud their efforts.
But, not only do I seek direction from medical experts but from God, too. His scriptures are a great source of comfort for me. His Spirit is a balm for my soul.
I’m learning much on this journey through the Valley of Dementia, which will end in the death of my mother. Until then, we travel between the mountains enjoying the green grass and the babbling brooks.
© Ronald Milburn 2018