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Blessed to be with my parents

I had the blessing of spending a few days with my parents in Arkansas.

I knew my mom had been regressing.   But no words could prepare me for what I found.  She is pitiful.  I could share countless stories of things she said or did while I was there.  However, she does very little these days.  She literally can walk from one room to the next and is totally wiped out.  If you know my mom, you know she is taller than I am and she now weighs quite a bit lower than I weighed even when I was very sick!  She has been losing about two pounds a week lately.  My heart just broke for her.  For my dad.  For our family.

I also got to spend some time with my dad.  I am proficient at bonding moments in a doctors office!  So he and I had some bonding moments in a medical facility.  He had to have some heart tests done.  And they took about six hours, not to mention the trip was three hours one direction.  He and I had a long day!  But we had some sweet moments together.  We haven’t heard from the tests yet but he definitely doesn’t feel well.  I reminded him that stress takes a tremendous toll on our bodies.  And he definitely has a ton of stress.

There is one thing I can say about my daddy…

He knows how to love my mama well.

His love for her is undeniable.  My mama loved his flowers.  She would sit out on the porch and look and talk about his pictures.   I noticed his flowers weren’t as well cared for this trip as they usually are which was another indicator that he wasn’t feeling well.  However, one afternoon he came walking in the living room with a beautiful flower.  He brought it to my mom!!  We had to show her to smell of it.  Of course, I doubt she understood that it was a flower and I doubt she understood the love that flower depicted.  They say a picture says a thousand words but I think this picture says three words, I love you.  Every time I look at this picture I find tears welling up in my eyes.  My dad has set an amazing example of unconditional love.


Krisann has never known my mom without Alzheimer’s, but she loves my mama sick.  My older kids have already grieved my mama in many ways.  But Krisann just keeps on loving in the middle of Alzheimer’s disease.  It was really sweet to watch her in action this week.  Another thing Krisann loves is this horse behind my parents’ house.  Krisann and this horse became sweet friends!

Leaving my parents was heartbreaking!

Although my heart was so sad to see my mama’s health declining, I was blessed to be with my parents.  As a matter of fact, leaving my parents was incredibly difficult.  I find myself longing to just live with them for a few months or however long my mama may have left here on this earth.  I know there are a lot of people who long for a goodbye with their loved ones.  But when you kiss your mama goodbye and the reality of the situation is you may never see your mama alive again, it is suffocating grief.   And to walk away and leave my dad alone in this season was so difficult.  The tears flowed on and off for quite some time on my trip back home.

I find myself grieving many things as it relates to my parents.  I grieve not being able to be with them.  I grieve that they are in Arkansas and I am in Alabama.  I grieve that we did not move them here a few months ago when we discussed it.   I struggle to not beat myself up over these issues.  I have to work hard to claim His truth over these struggles.  But the truth is there is no perfect way to care for your parents in the end season of life.  There are different options but no perfect answer.  I think the reality is I want perfect and it does not exist!

Needless to say, I am already searching my calendar for a few days when I can return.  Loving them in this season is a great blessing in my life!  I’m blessed to share tears and conversations with my dad.  I’m blessed to watch him love my mama well.  I’m blessed to see my sitters love my mama so well.  I’m blessed when I watch Krisann pour out love to my mama!  I’m blessed to have parents that have taught me to love Jesus and to love others!


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

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  1. Beth Edwards

    You are beautiful example of what it is to love unconditionally. Weather it is your parents, Zine, your teenage children, your independent 8 year old, or your community. You need a hug. so HUG HUG HUG. Prayers for your strength. Prayers for Krisann too as she does what little girls do- Love. I also love how she found the horse. She cared for and interacted with grandparents, then found her own stress reliever over the back fence.

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