This month would have been my mother’s 88th birthday. She passed away in November 2019. For the most part, she was easy-going and happy. However, during the onset of Alzheimer’s she became agitated easier and often believed things that only happened in her mind.
At the time, I didn’t realize this ugly illness had grabbed hold of her. After taking Mom to the doctor, we discovered the cruel facts about her memory and of the things to come. I tried to keep us both positive, but within a couple years I had to admit she needed more help than I was able to give.
I look back, recall the woman Mother used to be, love her for being my mom and later, my friend.
For sure, all of our mothers’ are special people.
Rosa Mae Elmore was my 'one of a kind,' extraordinary person.
Below is a revision of my account published in "Life-Changing Miracles: Real-Life Stories of Unforgettable Encounters with God." (Bethany House Publishers 2017)
CIRCLE OF GOD'S ARMS
Coping with a love one who has Alzheimer is difficult. As hard as it is on the person whose memory is slipping away, the disease is more devastating to the family. I know, because my mother suffered with the illness for years.
My heart sank in sadness each time I went to visit Mom and noticed she was mentally moving away. No longer, did we talk about shopping trips, her favorite foods or going to Virginia to see family. Mom’s memories were disappearing, and as her recollections faded, the woman she used to be would end.
Over the next four years, Mom had good and bad days. On her good days, I left the nursing home with praise in my heart. In the bad times, I amble to the parking as if carrying a heavy boulder.
In the days to follow, there were times when my heart felt so burdened I could hardly walk to the car. During Mom’s worse days I would slumped over the steering wheel and pray. I always asked the Lord to take the misery of the sickness away, and to help me enjoy the time I had left with her.
One particular morning, after a heart-breaking visit I scooted inside my car and glanced around. Leaves from the Oak trees boarded the parking lot and danced to the tune of a warm breeze. I caught sight of a bird on a near-by fence. My mind went back to the times when Mom used to enjoy sitting on the porch and watching birds. A tear slipped down my cheek. I hung my head and spoke to God. I remember saying, “Lord, I’ve prayed. I’ve cried out to you and given this grief over. Why am I’m still burdened and can’t find the peace You offer?”
In that second, my spirit quickened. As if Jesus was in the passenger’s seat my mind was immersed with His spirit. As clear as a sunny day, God’s words soaked into my soul. His gentle rebuttal reminded me I hadn’t let go of the grief and my continued tears pulled the concern away from His loving arms. That day the revelation Jesus offered was a beacon. He opened my eyes to something I’d overlooked. Giving my burdens to the Lord meant I had to turn them over, in every way, and stop cradling the sadness as if it were a baby.
I started my car while the Bible verse from 1 Peter 5:7 played in my conscience. ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ I was in awe of how God rekindled my spirit and reminded me that His word is ever enlightening.
On the way home, I prayed and asked the Lord to give me strength to release my burden to Him, and to make me aware of the times I was close to pulling my problem away from His grasp.
I went to see Mom every week. When we had a nice visit, I left with thanks in my heart. During the bad times, I rested in the knowledge that the Lord had my concern.
I will always praise God’s merciful grace, because on the days when Mom didn’t know me, she always remembered Jesus Christ.
Alzheimer’s isn’t new or easy, but during this time the Lord used my heartache to show me where I was missing the mark. Life won't always be smooth, but I have a better understanding about releasing cares to the Lord and I know that burdens are better, in the circle of God’s arms.
As I mentioned, this is a rewritten contribution from "Life-Changing Miracles: Real-Life Stories of Unforgettable Encounters with God."
I'm only one of the many other wonderful authors' who shared a life-changing miracle, of thier own.