As most of you know my husband had a neurological disease. His disease was called Multiple Systems Atrophy and mostly was physical. His body became more and more disabled to the point of complete disability and later death. As many of you also may know I now experience the joy of volunteering once a week for a social program for people with dementia-most with beginning to moderate Alzheimer's. This disease although it can involve physical aspects mostly involves memory issues. This disease also involves constant changes and declines as my husband's disease did, but in a different way.
Recently I had the privilege of reading a wonderful book called Twilight Meditations subtitled One Woman's Thoughts of God as Alzheimer's Advances. In this book psychologist, Dr. Jeff Bjorck introduces us to his mother, Irene. In spite of years of suffering the affects of Alzheimer's Irene has continued to show a cheerful, thankful attitude.
In addition to this she has continued to offer occasional spontaneous comments about her faith and love for her Lord. After a brief introduction of several pages chronicling Irene's life the book goes on to showcase these comments with beautiful photography from Jeff and beautiful artwork from Irene. I found many of Irene's comments beautiful and profound in their simplicity. One of these comments in July of 2014 showed Irene's trust in God through all her struggles when she said, "God makes no mistakes. He has never had to come to me and say, 'I'm sorry I did that!'" Then in May of 2016 she said again, "It's true that, what He has done, He knew all along He was going to do."
This book would greatly encourage those who are caring for someone with Alzheimer's. Yet I think it would encourage anyone no matter what their walk in life or whatever is going on in their lives. Our bodies or our memories may fail, but as Irene said in one of her quotes, "He (God) never forgets." Also the One who never forgets will preserve us in our faith no matter how much decline occurs in our bodies and minds. There is so much I could say about this book. I was very blessed by reading it.
Below is a link to the order page for this book on Amazon. To get the full effect of the artwork and photography in the book I would recommend you buy the paperback version and not the Kindle version:
I thought you would also enjoy viewing a sweet interaction between Jeff and Irene about a year ago on YouTube. I do not know Jeff personally, but found this very sweet. Click the link below to hear it.
Recently I also read a book called Honoring the Elderly subtitled A Christian's Duty to Aging Parents by Rev. Brian De Jong. This book discusses the Biblical/theological issues surrounding our need to honor and aid our elderly parents especially as they decline in their physical and mental well-being as they age. The author bases his premises on the fifth commandment which instructs us to honor our parents.
The author also discusses topics such as dealing with difficult parents, medical and ethical decision making, financial issues, and even honoring parents at death and afterward. If you are interested in this book I have the link to his book below. This book does not definitively answer every question or solve all the challenges of family care-giving, but it gives a good Biblical basis for how we should approach this topic. I am thankful that someone has written a book like this. Consider ordering his book at the link below:
Finally, if you have not already done so, consider also ordering and reading my book. As most of you know the name of my book is Dear Caregiver subtitled Reflections for Family Caregivers. I was my husband's caregiver for four and a half years. He had a devastating neurological disease called Multiple Systems Atrophy. I understand the emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges of being a family caregiver. Hence, it is my passion to encourage family caregivers. That is why I write this blog and that is why I wrote my book.
My book contains over 100 short chapters or meditations meant to encourage family caregivers in their noble but sometimes challenging and heartbreaking care of their loved one. My story in intertwined in these meditations or short chapters. Below is the link to my order page for my book on Amazon. It is also available at Barnes and Noble and other places online. If you prefer you can also e-mail me to receive a book from me directly. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org As I said before the Amazon link to my order page is below.