The Walks of Life

IMG_6316Curt now spends a great deal of time in a “Broda” chair,  it’s a like a recliner on wheels. As of late he has not been content in the chair, he moves his legs in the chair constantly, sorta rocking it up and down in an attempt to get up.  The problem is, if he does get up and walk around, he gets tired easily and becomes a fall risk.  It’s one of those difficult situations, with no easy answer.  However, I have noticed he calms down immensely when I walk the hallways with him in his chair, his sporadic, uncoordinated movement begins to ease up and his eyelids grow heavy.

So lately I have been spending a lot of time walking the halls of the memory care facility with him.

During our walks, I often find my thoughts drifting back to another  big walk we  took together.  I remember walking the halls of our local hospital all through the night until the sun came up while in labor with Tyler.  We walked, we talked, we prayed and anticipated our future together as a family.

Now we walk the halls of a memory care facility, I can barely understand anything Curt says anymore, he is either awake, agitated and antsy or tired, calm and serene.  He still smiles and laughs, but not quite as frequently as he did.

Our dreams for our future at the hospital that night in December, have now faded into the black hole of Alzheimer’s.

And I guess that is why I have struggled as of late to update this blog…….I have been grieving.

I  had a rough winter….not horrible, but for me, and my usual optimistic self it has been difficult.

I am weary

I miss Curt and his wisdom, guidance, care and companionship

I miss the kids since they are both now at college

I am weary

I am tired of taking care of everything and making decisions with out Curt’s wisdom and insight.

I am tired of taking care of taxes and filling out the FAFSA (ha ha, ok that is just something Curt would thrive taking care of, I on the other hand DREAD it all)

I am just tired, stuff bothers me more, there is always this huge cloud of uncertainty hanging over my head.

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However, during all of my grief and calling out to God, I have found something.

Something I anticipated, but waiting for it was not in my plan.  I am a millennial generation baby boomer…..I don’t wait well. 🙂

A treasure, a gift, I have just begun to unpack…..

I am learning to embrace the promise of Romans 8:28

And we KNOW that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.

It was a struggle for a long time, to think God is working this out for good…..like you’re kidding me right??  There is no good in having your husband diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 46, when your kids were 13 and 15?!  How can that be GOOD!?

But then I received a hand made prayer quilt in the mail recently from a prayer ministry in North Carolina.  As I pulled it out of the wrapped box, I was confused as to what it was.  The backside of the quilt was a busy mess, but when I turned it over, I saw the completed quilt and it’s full beauty.  If I only looked at the back of it, I would see an angry mess, in disorganized chaos.

If I just looked at my circumstances I see a deplorable, emotional MESS of chaos and loss.

But in the big picture of ALL that God is weaving together, the quilt of life comes together and I start to see how God is weaving all of this into His perfect plan.  If God leads you to it, He WILL see you through it……..it may not be easy, but He will see you through it. 

Not gonna lie, this has NOT been an easy journey, but as I look back on it the last 5 years, God has provided for us above and beyond.  He has met our big needs and little needs.

 

Okay now stick with me on this analogy……….You know how sometimes when you are out driving and you realize you are starving hungry…..Like seriously famished, I could eat a horse kind of hungry.  Then you eat some random granola bar you find in your glove compartment to hold you over until you can get real food.  You are satisfied for a bit, and you feel a little better and can press on until the big meal comes.

Well if you are still with me on this one, that is how God has been providing for us.  Sure I wish the big meal would come and make it all okay, but the little morsels of His truth, strength, and grace is what keeps me going on a daily basis. I feel a little better and can press on through the day.  His strength is what keeps me going, those little morsels of strength keep me, keeping on!

  It’s only when I look back do I see how many times He has given me that random granola bar when i needed it to get through the day.   A friend drops off a meal, someone volunteers to help with yard work at the right time, a friend stops by to see Curt, a card comes in the mail filled with kind words and encouragement, God meets our looming financial needs in BIG ways, a friend invites me out to dinner when I need it, God speaks in a big way to me through His word, I hear a song and I am brought to tears, yet ultimately encouraged through the words. 

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Oh friends I do believe God is working this out for His glory, but for anyone who is struggling with the onslaught of rough times, do know it’s not always going to be easy, and at times it will downright suck.  But in the big picture of it all keep seeking, pleading, praying. Remember to snack on those random granola bars of provision that God sends your way to empower you to press on. Your life may look like one hot mess of grief and sorrow, but the Master quilter is bringing this mess all together for His Good.  Press on!

2 Chronicles 20:12 ……….We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you!

 

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven’s working
Everything for your good

~Danny Gokey

“Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”

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~thanks for walking with us on this journey~

 

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “The Walks of Life

  1. Sandy, I am amazed at your strength and unwavering faith. There is no doubt God is showing himself through you and how proud He must be, as you are proud of Tyler and Mattie. Tyler is one in a million. Goes out of his way just to say hello every time he see’s us, always with a smile. A true testament to you and Curt. What a wonderful job as parents. Please know we will keep your family in our prayers. Caleb Evans parents Buddy & Laura
    God bless

  2. Sandy,
    Your faith and ability to find strength amazes me. Having seen my mother struggle as my stepfather’s caregiver for years with his early onset of Alzheimer’s, I know how incredibly draining it can be. The journey of watching someone you love be stripped of their dignity day by day is heartbreaking. She took care of him at home because her mother had been placed in a facility that basically abused her at the end of her journey with dementia. We couldn’t convince her that most facilities are respectable. I am inspired by your courage and faith. I know you’re weary but please know that what you’re giving to others by sharing your journey is appreciated and worth more than you know.

  3. My father has EOAD and is around a late stage 5 at 59 years old. My mother is his main caregiver at home, while I help as much as I can. Reading your blog helps me understand the intense grief and fear that she must feel watching my dad, her husband slip away. You seem like an amazing and loving wife the way you continue to care for Curt.

  4. Sandy, how blessed I was to read your words. Seriously. Your faith and strength in God is a shining example for all of us twisting through the maze of life and what our individual walks are. I still pray for you all. and now I can kind of relate to what you are going through as my dad is now dealing with this. Of course that looks a lot differently at age 84 than it does with a husband of only 50 something. But i do get what you are going through. Dealing with losses, the big picture…..God has it ALL!! God bless you as you keep walking on.

  5. When I reached the point that you are now describing, the song Worn by Tenth Avenue North was the song that really ministered to me. I was so worn and was just so desperate to know that something good was going to come from the ashes of our situation. He passed 16 months ago and this evening during our church choir’s spring concert there will be a video presentation of my testimony. It is meant to encourage anyone else that is going through a dark period in their own lives. It is very cathartic to me to think that someone else could use our journey through the trials of AD to be reminded to lean into Jesus for His comfort and peace. He is already using you in a mighty way as you expose your pain and grief but making it very clear that you are depending on HIM to sustain you. I am so sorry for your pain as you continue on.

  6. Sandy,
    Tears rolling at 7am this morning. Tears of pride and inspiration as I read this. Though it may not be your direct intention, please know that you are inspiring more folks than you know by sharing this journey. Your strength, faith in the face of endless trials, and beautiful ability to communicate cause me to take pause at what I may consider “challenges” in my own life, to take a minute and consider how I can be a more faithful servant to God. I will continue to pray for you and your family each day and I thank you for sharing this incredibly tough journey. Just know you have friends in NC who care.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing and updating us on your journey. God does have a plan and it is ccnfusing, frustrating and just not fair to us, but as you said it will have a purpose and he will get the Glory for it. You are such an encouragement to me when I read your posts. No matter how bad it is you always show the love of God in your posts Great family picture on your home page. Prayers for you and family.

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