For most of my life, Sundown was a Gordon Lightfoot song. When Mom was diagnosed with dementia, sundown took on a whole new meaning. Each afternoon, Mom’s level of confusion, anxiety and agitation would rise as the sun slowly set. She would become fixated on something that was out of place or an upcoming event she didn’t want to miss. She might ask the same question 50 times in 90 minutes. “When’s my hair appointment?”, “Where’s the light?” , or “Why is the fan on?” After hearing the same question even 10 times, I often had to bite my tongue and sometimes leave the room so I wouldn’t snap at her.
My Dad, however, had an immense amount of patience in the face of her unending questions. As Mom’s disease progressed, his ability to answer repetitive questions over and over again with the same gentle, yet firm response, showed me a side of my Dad I hadn’t known. He never got angry, was exceptionally patient, and showed her grace and mercy. As Mom’s slowly lost her mind, I realized just how much Dad loved her. He would sacrifice his needs, dreams and even his life to make sure Mom knew she was safe and loved.
Dad showed me a side of God I hadn’t seen before. I can ask God anything over and over again and always know his love and patience are boundless. God loves me so much that He sacrificed his Son who gave up his life to make sure I knew I was safe and loved. From the awful loss and pain of Alzheimer’s emerged an unexpected gift – joy in God’s enduring love.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me. Psalm 23:4
The Lord, The Lord, a compassionate and merciful God, patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. Exodus 34:6