Day 17

This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins.  Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other.  1 John 4:10-11 CEB

Alzheimer’s stole everything from my mom but the most important thing.  Until the day she lost the ability to communicate, mere hours before her passing, my mom grew in her capacity and willingness to express love.  People who, in the past, she’d occasionally suggest needed to improve “this” or “that”, she began to say things like, “I really like her.  She is nice to me.”

She forget that a particular family member or family friend might have annoyed her consistently in the past.  Slowly, over time, there were no enemies.  There were no criticisms.  There were no shortcomings.

One of our last full on conversations occurred the day before her catastrophic health event.  She told me how much she loved her life, reminding me of the activities she loved and the beauty of her surroundings.  Much of what she said was factually untrue.  But the heart of the story, the essence of her meaning, was that she was satisfied with her life and even her place in it.  Much had to be overlooked for my mother to get to this point.  She was in constant pain.  She alternately loved and fear my father, calling him “good Bob” or “bad Bob”.  She had the typical anger and outbursts that go along with Alzheimer’s.  But on this day, all she had was love for life and love for Bob and love for her children and their spouses and her grandchildren and her friends.  This was a lovely last conversation for me to have with her, and I am forever grateful.

It has spurred me to consider my own way of living.  I want what she had in those last moments.  I’d prefer to find that inspired way of seeing without it coming with the disease of Alzheimer’s.  And you know what?  I think it is possible, because it is the closest thing to truth we will ever encounter.  We ought to be crazy mad in love with people.  What is standing in your way from finding the love in your life?  Any ideas?

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