Many of you know the story of my folks, how my dad spent the last years of his life caring for Mom who was in the throes of Alzheimer's. It's an emotional ministry, serving the chronically ill who don't know their own condition. Dad went through a number of steps to try and make the house safer for Mom. There is only so much you can do but he tried...and we tried. This was written on June 2, 2007.
We sat on the front porch a long time yesterday, my mother and me. We talked much but communicated little. She spoke in sentences that were at times in perfect English but made no sense. I nodded and prodded her with questions which led to other disjointed monologues...but we talked. We've spent time on the porch before but yesterday there was a difference. The day before, my brother, Scott, and my brother-in-law, Lee, constructed and mounted gates on the two entrances to the porch so Mom can't wander away. The gates have two simple mechanisms which she would have to figure out simultaneously to open the gate. She won't figure the steps out. I'm just glad she won't figure out the gates are for her.
Jesus spoke of gates himself. In John 10, he referred to himself as the good shepherd and the gate for the sheep when discussing his relationship to those who believed in him. The gate was there for the safety of those who needed protection. It kept the bad guys out and provided a barrier against those who might decimate the defenseless ones. I'm pretty sure our gate would not keep anybody on the outside but that's not the purpose. It's to keep Mom safe from herself. Jesus, while invoking the flock analogy, stated the sheep would follow him because they knew his voice. I wish I was sure Mom still knew mine.
Applicable quote of the day:
"I'm in awe of people out there who deal with Alzheimer's, because they have to deal with death ten times over, year after year."
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