Living with Dad’s Dementia

The light bulb has gone out in Dad’s eyes. Last week we carried on a conversation and played Rook. Tonight, he responds “yeah” and can’t seem to figure out the different colors in Uno.

We were at this place five years ago. The doctors said he would have plateaus where he would level out. But Dad completely returned. He not only balanced out but was dreaming about getting a job again.

A few days ago, we said goodbye to my brother-in-law. Did the funeral trigger memories of Mom’s death? Has he retreated to the recesses of his mind to keep from the pain of Larry’s death?

At first the Uno game was cute. But he got stuck there and wouldn’t even rise from the table without me taking his elbow. Now I feel my own panic rise like bile in the back of my throat.

What is it about pain that shuts down the brain? Here I am, needing You again, Lord. The very breath I breathe needs Your infusion of hope and mountain-moving faith. Help me to take one step at a time, as we navigate these muddy waters with Dad.

Mom gave me a book by Anne Graham Lotz called “Why?” It has become my go-to resource when life throws another curve ball. Anne says, “The kind of trust God wants us to have cannot be learned in comfort and ease. Mary and Martha could not learn it immediately or quickly. It required time. And patience. And suffering. And the pressure of desperation.” (p. 55)

Are you desperate for God to intervene in your life? Reach out to Him to hold your hand and to walk the dusty road with you. And whatever you do, don’t give up. He promised He would go with you, no matter what.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” –Isaiah 43:2 NIV


6 thoughts on “Living with Dad’s Dementia”

  1. Sally, I so appreciate reading your blogs. I remember a day, when I was in a deep place and you shared with me, how your mom had given you the book Why. It has been a great help to me as well. “The kind of trust, that God wants us to have, cannot and is not , to be learned in comfort and ease,” but learning and knowing that Father God loves me and that I can trust him, are treasures, riches and a mystery,…..well worth the journey!

  2. Thank you Sally. I need to read that book. Just the past few weeks we have noticed a decline in my Down Syndrome Sister. Such a dear person, full of life and laughter and we see the spark going. Heart breaking. So hard to see and yet all I can do is intrust her to herr Father. Continually looking for His strenght. My prayers will be with you. Blessings! Sharon

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