Today is the day one year ago that my brother Darwin and I accompanied Mom to the much-anticipated neurology appointment for evaluation. Mom had expressed to me before how scared she was to find out what was wrong with her, but she did finally relent.
The neurologist entered the room and was clearly in a very bad mood. He went through all the motions, asking and answering questions curtly, being very short with all of us. Finally as he was going through the test, one of the last questions was to ask Mom to write a sentence on a piece of paper, any sentence at all. Without hesitation she took the piece of paper, wrote something, and handed it back- This is nuts- is what she wrote. The neurologist read it, threw his head back, and laughed a great big, deep laugh. After that he was much more amiable with all of us and at the end of the appointment he explained that he would not see Mom again nor would anyone else in that office; he was leaving the practice to pursue his own agenda and the other doctors were not accepting new patients, either. He did drop the A-BOMB on us- Alzheimers. The three of us hardly spoke the rest of the day, as the diagnosis was slowly absorbed.
I’ve learned the number one fear for most people for decades has been CANCER. But that is shifting. As more and more people are stricken with this disease that eats away at the brain, DEMENTIA has surpassed cancer as number one. And with good reason. Not only does it devastate the one afflicted, but it can consume the primary caregiver and others along with the brain cells of the diagnosed sufferer. With so little known about it, little to no treatment options, and even within the medical community there is precious little information or support, it is a devastating diagnosis to be sure. When we began this journey, of course we did not know what all it would entail, and I’m glad of it. I’m glad I didn’t know what was coming. I’m learning that every decision I make is made in faith! And with that knowledge comes the strength of knowing that the decisions are bringing about the will of God! I firmly believe His hand is on me and I am His vessel, so long as I am open to hearing and willing to DO. Thus, I am in QUIET right now, embracing it, allowing. I am listening, seeking, learning to once again thirst after Him as I did when I first gave my life to Him in June of 1994.
As I meditate in the mornings, sometimes it is difficult to calm my mind from all the new things I have decided to pursue this year- getting back into a daily study of God’s Word, fitness & health, eating more cleanly, the I Am Slim & Sassy contest, organizing our houses, selling & giving away things, changing my attitude with Mom, even the thought of my actions and words coming from a place of PEACE can disrupt the meditation, doTERRA essential oils business (not new but changing my mindset about it). All these things are internal! Even giving and selling things is internal, as I have spent years amassing collections of all kinds, and now I am faced with mountains of STUFF I must purge, a lot of which I’ve justified holding on to because “I’ll make something with that someday.”
Now because these struggles and priorities are internal, it’s a lot easier to THINK on these things than to ACT on them. So to force myself to ACT I am keeping a more detailed calendar and planning my days as well as my business (essential oils). How it all will work together I do not yet fully know or understand, but I am beginning, just beginning, to feel that my shredded heart and mind are healing, starting to be pieced back together, and I cannot tell you how deeply grateful I am for that. Mom’s cruelty toward me, the depth of my compassion and love for her, the depth of my anger toward her for her insulting hurtful comments about and to me, I’d allowed a lot of damage from that last year and found myself overwhelmed with sadness every single morning when I woke, simply BECAUSE I woke. I, who, other than the two distant past times I’d been suicidal, certainly since becoming a Christian, cannot remember NOT waking up with hope and the promise of potential in every day, had become deeply disappointed that mornings brought my eyes open and day after day of misery awaited.
NO MORE of that I say! If I choose to spend time in reflection now, let it not be a time to regret or become bitter; rather, a time to praise God that I’ve come through it. Let it be to acknowledge accomplishment rather than failure. Internal workings to be sure, but when we are aligned internally it surely is manifested externally in our relationships, which are most important, after all.