Dementia and My God

After my initial post regarding my return to the Mississippi Delta to help care for Dad, came many inquiries and questions. One basic question to the many direct responses was regarding God and how does this (dementia) fit his good plan. And how is it caring for someone who will no longer know you. Well friends, I am a person of faith, I am a believer and can only answer from that point.

Dementia is a hard thing to witness and since I am called to be a caregiver, he is providing me with everything I need daily and moment by moment; I lean into Him a little harder each day. Some days are easier than others; and most days I wonder what is God’s plan; how is He or will He use this for Glory and our good. Dementia was not apart of God’s original plan for us. Creation was good, healthy, filled with love. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were not content with this plan and they became disobedient. They sinned and it was through this very act that mankind began to experience strife. Love was still here but now so was hate. Life was still here but now so was death. Good was still hear but now so was evil. Good health was still here but now so was disease and that includes vascular dementia. And though sin entered in, God’s imagine was unchanged. We all share in this image and that includes dementias. However, sin did damage our ability to reflect God’s image. John Dunlop provided “ when sin entered the world, it compromised our ability to enjoy our lives on earth. This is seen in countless ways, but one of them is dementia and the way it wrecks havoc in the lives of it sufferers and those who love and care for them“ (John Dunlop, Finding Grace in the face of Dementia).

Dad’s brain does not function properly but he is not a half or less than a person. He is an image bearer of our God and deserves to be treated as such; with love, dignity and respect. It is my prayer that I serve well.

My sister, my dad, myself. Dad always took family pics with us. mom made sure we were dressed well and she dared us to touch our hair😂

Called To Serve

Dad took me to the fair and we took this picture while there. I have no recollection of it but I looked so happy to be there with dad and he looks Jim Dandy proud.

I have returned to the Mississippi Delta. My dad’s dementia has progressed and he is now bedridden. Mom is aging gracefully, yet she can no longer provide dad with the same level of care as before. I have been called to serve.
“Caregiving is a distinct call from God. It is not something we randomly fall into. Unfortunately, it may seem like this responsibility is foisted upon us, but that is not true. We often think of God‘s calling as something that comes to us through a great, supernatural experience, but often the call comes to us by the circumstances he puts in our path. If the opportunity for caregiving is presented, and you seem to be the logical person to serve, it is often reasonable to conclude it is God‘s calling for you. Once we see caregiving as a calling, it is easier to accept it as our priority and not feel guilty about ignoring other pursuits” (John Dunlop, Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia).
As I count it a privilege and honor to serve, I can’t help but look back over the pictures and memories and see how blessed and loved beyond measure I really am. The man who held my hand and guided me around as a child, I now hold his hand as he looks to me. I am proud to serve. I never realized how much my hands resembles his. In this subtle moment I am reminded that life really isn’t about me but about God and He has a purpose in all things and that includes vascular dementia.
He is our creator, and we are daily sustained by Him, and its (dementia) ultimate purpose will be fulfilled in His being glorified.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36)

vasculardementia #caregiving #godscalling #calledtoserve

Thoughtful Thursday

I usually begin my mornings with devotions of some kind. I am not a routine or traditional woman but then that is not absolutely true. I have a morning routine and it usually, no … it always includes devotions. In this devotion time I usually set aside and hour to just ‘be’. I listen and I reflect after I have read Scripture and something of spiritual inspiration. Sometimes I read over a favorite passage or reading and towards the end of my time, I offer a prayer of gratitude. My favorite book in the Bible is Philippians with Psalm coming in a close second. As far as spiritual reading, I tend to lean towards writers and thinkers from the 19th century and earlier. John Baille (1886-1960) was a Scottish theologian, minister of the Church of Scotland, professor at Edinburg University, and brother of theologian Donald Macpherson Baille. This particular piece of his I read often. It is my hope that it causes you to take time to ponder the words of this theologian as I have on many cool mornings at the break of day.

Twin Lakes State Park


Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of you, let my first impulse be to worship you, let my first spoken word be your name, let my first action be to kneel before you in prayer.

For your perfect wisdom and perfect goodness;

For the love wherewith you love mankind;

For the love wherewith you love me;

For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life;

For the indwelling of your Spirit in my heart;

For the sevenfold gifts of your Spirit;

I praise and worship you, O Lord.

Yet let me not, when this morning prayer is said, think my worship ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of you. Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth, and joy, and power, that will remain with me through all the hours of the day;

Keeping me chaste in thought;

Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech;

Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work;

Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself;

Keeping me honorable and generous in my dealings with others;

Keeping me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past;

Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of Thine;

O God, who has been the Refuge of my fathers through many generations, be my Refuge today in every time and circumstance of need. Be my Guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my Guard against all that threatens my spirit’s welfare. Be my Strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with your peace; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen

It’s a ‘Skeeter Affair

While sitting here is the Mississippi Delta, memories come back of days of old when the summers were long, hot, humid and slow. Growing up here, as with anywhere, you just get used to the weather and anything else the region has to offer. One of the many things that Mississippi is known for is its population and size of mosquitoes. If you were not from the area; if the high temperatures and humidity did not leave you utterly miserable, the mosquitoes would surely do the trick. No idea how we survived as children but not only did we survive, we thrived and had the best summers ever. Trust me, it was not all as miserable as it might sound or be portrayed. Here are a couple of things that I recall from when I was growing up in the Delta: parades (marching bands were huge down here), football (was and still is very popular … high school football that is …), snowballs/snowcones, ice cream trucks, watermelon, festivals (catfish, craw-fish, hot tamale), cousins, bicycles, church and mercy me … barbecue!

Now here is one that we might not be too proud of but hey, we are all still here to live and to tell about it. In the late evenings, when the sun would have ebbed and cooled its scorch of the land, a distinct sound of the city’s attempt to abate the mosquito population could be heard in almost every neighborhood. It was-the ‘skeeter truck. This was a pick up truck that was out-rigged with a motor that would spray a white cloud of foggy spray up and down the neighborhood streets. Children would run outside to play, run, and ride bikes in the fog and wave at the driver who usually had his window and returning the wave. Children would wave at this driver in the same manner they would wave at the driver of the ice cream truck. My parents did not allowed us to run and ride up and down the streets or be out after dusk dark, except when the cousins would visit. I suppose there was safety in numbers or they did not want us to run their grass down by riding bikes around the house in a circle as if the circus had come to town. However, we would be sitting outside in our yard when the truck would come by and we would just sit there like stone statues watching a parade… inhaling fumes and carrying on like this was normal; and for us it was.

What I am not sure of is whether or not DDT had been outlawed by then. Even so, it is just not good to sit in any chemicals at any time!! Yet, I lived to tell the story/memory.

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