God has never answered my question, and I seriously doubt that he will. However, he is kind enough to let me rage against him, scribble in my journal and cry out my frustrations.
“Why have you let Alzheimer’s take over my mother’s brain? I still need her.”
I want her to tell me how to live with vitality and fun in my sixties like she did.
I want her in my life, not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. I want her to tell me how she dealt with the circumstances of her life and how she remained strong as Dad’s caregiver through ten long and bitter years.
I miss how she used to sing “I Wonder as I Wander” at Christmas while she rolled out spicy peppernuts on the kitchen counter. That was the only phrase she knew of that song, so I laughed as she repeated it over and over.
Every Christmas, I hear that echo as I roll out my own peppernuts and miss her all over again. In this Alzheimer’s state of physical health and mental decline, she no longer sings – unless someone starts one of the old hymns that triggers a memory.
I want to know how we are supposed to accept age with joy when we have no divine models for it.
Jesus, after all, died young. He was only in his thirties and he stayed dead only three days. How would he have aged if he lived into his eighties? How would he have dealt with his mother Mary if she forgot how to tie her shoes, how to cook his favorite meals or even – heaven forbid – forgot his name?
Was that even possible?
We are supposed to exercise, read, play board games and work in order to stay mentally alert. My mother did all of those things with regularity and discipline, so why didn’t that formula work for her?
Will it work for me?
Even though I wrote those words and believed them when Reverend G said them, today and in this particular stage of my mother’s Alzheimer’s journey – I want to know more.
I believe God knows and he doesn’t have to tell me, but somehow I need to keep asking the question.
I know I’m supposed to trust him. Even while my soul is torn by the rejection every time Mom forgets what my son and I do, even when I feel guilty as I drive away from the assisted living – somehow I’m supposed to trust that God knows why and it’s going to be okay.
Maybe I believe that someday – he’ll answer.
©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/11QATC1