My personal intercessory team lifts me up in prayer before every trip to Oklahoma.
My siblings know people in their churches, their cell groups and their networks who pray for them.
Certainly, we all pray for Mom. I pray that she won’t have to suffer a long time with Alzheimers and yes—I know what that means. I know that I’m asking God to take her home where she can be with Jesus, with Dad and with her parents.
What’s the point of pretending? Mom is a strong believer. Her faith is intact even if her brain is scrambled. I pray that God will release her to go home.
Every night and sometimes during the daytime hours, I pray for my sister. I’ve seen how her health has been affected. Stress wreaks havoc on our bodies, so I pray for my sister to find relief from the pain, to sleep well and to find the joy of living.
I pray for my brother as he juggles work on the farm along with his other job, his family and the dynamics all of that brings. I pray for him special grace because he works hard, and I ask God to bless him day after day.
Then I pray for me, that I will live with grace, even as the long distance caregiver. I ask God to keep me from trying to find comfort in things of this world or an over-abundance of chocolate.
I pray that as we live through this experience, I’ll be able to write books and blog posts such as this one, to encourage my group on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/15XgKN4), to speak at churches and other groups about how to find hope when life unravels.
Because in the end, Alzheimer’s does not win. What really counts is how we deal with our family dynamics and how we stay close to each other—even when we live far apart.
What matters is how we share what we have learned. Because that is why we are here. To love God, to make a difference and to leave well.
Part of that leaving well is a legacy of wisdom and experience for those who come behind us. To let them know that even within the journey of Alzheimers, prayer is still the best thing we can do.