“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)
Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease which ravages both the body and the mind. It has no rhyme nor reason, presenting itself differently in each of its victims. It steals a little more of the person with the passing of days causing you to wonder, at times, who is this in front of you. There is no way of knowing as you go to visit if you will find them with brief moments which bring clarity of thought or if they will be somewhere in their mind where you have never before gone.
The amazing thing I have come to realize this past week is this ….
While Alzheimer’s took Carol’s memory from her, we as a family truly gained memory.
We sat together and reminisced and laughed as we poured over photos, gaining back our memory of Carol, of life, and of family. In reading her travel journal, which none of us had ever before seen, we learned of her trip to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. She diligently wrote each day of the sights, the people and her thoughts, all of which were precious as we discovered there was a side to Carol we had not seen.
I get a calendar each year for Christmas. You know the one …. the one with a Scripture for the day. You tear off a page each day.
The day after she passed, I woke up for my early morning routine of reading and coffee. I sat down at my desk and look over at the calendar and read the verse on the top page for April 2nd:
“Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
Picking up my calendar, I headed into our bedroom and threw on the lights to read it to my husband. It is amazing to realize (and recognize) how our God would so arrange for that verse to be on that page for that date. But then go further, of all the calendars I could have received, that calendar was given to me for this year and I was sitting there reading God’s Word to me, for this very situation and day. Our God knows His own in such an intimate and compassionate and personal manner!
Even more so, His Word is alive and ever living. Those moments when His Word becomes His spoken word spoken just to you, individual and unique to you. The verse sprang to life, rich with meaning which I will never forget.
Carol had surely persevered under trial – the trial of Alzheimer’s. It had ravaged both her body and mind for the last ten years, stealing a little bit more with the passing of time.
But on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, she received her crown which then circled the very thing which was stolen from her – her mind. Her mind was fully restored to her in health and wholeness.
Her time had not been passing, it had been coming all along.
Carol’s time had come to receive her crown in the presence on her Lord.