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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Confronting Alzheimer's Disease

By Ken Horn
Aug. 17, 2014

My family, like so many, had to confront Alzheimer’s disease. Only one of my parents had it, but both taught me something about how to weather the storm of this bitterly disrupting interloper.

My mother was an encourager who always found ways to touch people’s lives. She sent dozens of cards with personal words of encouragement each month. After she had some strokes the cards didn’t always make sense. But the recipients still understood.

Alzheimer’s eventually stole her memory and the barrage of cards ceased. But even in a nursing home, my mother would commonly touch other residents and say, “I love you.” Her love of people, though clouded by hazy memories, persisted.

The Alzheimer’s eventually took that away, too, leaving her a shadow of the woman we knew. But that love was still in her spirit.

After my father’s death, I found out that he had picked up the encouragement mantle and continued sending those cards right up until the week of his death from cancer.

He also showed how to love your spouse unconditionally. When the disease hit my mother, Dad kept her home as long as possible, doing everything for her despite his rheumatoid arthritis. Later, Dad’s devotion kept him daily at Mother’s side in the nursing home.

When Dad passed away, I felt great emptiness that my mother never understood he was gone. When the call came that Mother had also slipped away, it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I knew she had cast off the ailments that had restricted her. I pictured her walking through heaven’s gates and being surprised to find my dad already there.

If you have a loved one in a similar situation today, realize this: Weaknesses of body and mind, though debilitating, cannot compete with the influence of God’s Holy Spirit in a believer’s soul. When it seems to us loved ones have ceased to be who they used to be, God says that isn’t so.

The body and mind may be worn out, but he or she is still a child of the King.

Neither stroke nor Alzheimer’s, or even death, shall be able to separate them from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39).

Ken Horn

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