Nan and Heather 1971. Photo either by Chris or Ralph.

1993 or 1994 — Nan and Heather. Photo by Chris.

I was shocked.  My “after visit summary” from my new doctor reported that I appeared my stated age!  That is old!  Maybe it is the gray in my hair or the fact that I’ve gained 20 lbs in the last 20 years.  But that is the least of my worries. A college classmate has a wife who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. I am concerned about this disease.

Me with my gorgeous birthday cake by granddaughter Samantha. Photo by Heather.

So now I’m praying, like my friend Nan prayed every day, that God would “Keep us in our senses.”  Nan was the wife of my dad’s closest friend, Ralph, and Heather’s godmother.  She became my closest friend and prayer partner in her later years.  Years ago her aunt had a stroke and ended up not being able to function normally.  Nan said she would rather bleed out from blood thinners, so she wouldn’t have a stroke, then to end up like her aunt. God answered that prayer.  

I last spoke to Nan when she was on her way to hospice care in a hospice facility.  I could tell she was in a lot of pain but, as usual, she was glad to hear from me.  My cousin, Janet’s husband, Alf, as soon as he found out that she was in hospice care, went to visit her.  She was already in a coma.  He sat with her and remembered her love and care for all of us.  She had given him Ralph’s Bible previously.  

My mom had some form of dementia.  Her thinking was irrational.  Arguing with her did no good.  Later I learned from a Facebook post that one should not argue with people who have dementia.  The only statement I could make to her that would bring her to her senses was–  “That isn’t making disciples or spreading the gospel.”  Also, if I wrote out prayers for her this would calm her down.  Some people are helped by listening to their favorite music.

So Nan finished the race well and I daily pray that we shall also.

II Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.