Alzheimer’s came into my family’s life in the early to mid 90’s when my precious Grandmother the Late Julia Mae Brown was diagnosed. We knew very little about the disease and went along with what the doctors said and did what they told us to do. Gran became a shell of her former self. She was very forgetful, didn’t remember her family, wandered off and even had angry out bursts. The Grandmother who would walk me across the street to Mrs. Winner’s to get cinnamon rolls, dance and sing was mentally gone.
Mom watched my Gran slip away and I know it hurt her terribly. She was the only girl and shared a very special relationship with her. I recall the hurt in my Mother’s voice as she eulogized Gran on December 11, 2006 “So long Julia, So long Julie, So long Mom… Bye Bye take your rest…” It was after that moment that we would often hear Mom say “Lord, let me keep my mind.” Then a couple of years later my step-mother passed away from a tragic fall due to hemorrhaging in her brain. Mom became extra careful with going up and down steps and more cautious of things around her. She didn’t want what happened to Gran or my step-mom to happen to happen to her. As a life skills trainer for the Learning Services Mom had a soft spot for the patients she worked with who suffered from major brain injuries. We were all shocked to learn that Mom had a terminal and cancerous brain tumor.
I remember taking Mom to her very first oncology appointment. The doctor had no beside manner, was very cold (to me anyways) and told Mom she could do radiation and take the chemotherapy pill that at the end of the day most people with gliblastoma mutliforme only live 2 to 5 years from diagnosis. I sat there in shock, looking at this man who basically told me that my Mother, my world, my reason for being a “miracle” would die! Mom on the other hand seemed unmoved by what he was saying, she was very polite and said “Ok” and “Thank you.” took the prescriptions, referrals, gave the man a hug and walked out. I’m not sure if she held it together because I (the youngest of her children) was there or what. On the way home steady tears streamed down my face and Mom said to me “Merical Joy, do I need to drive?” I said “No, ma’am.” and then she said “Well, fix your face.” I knew that while the doctor told my Mom she was going to die, she knew who had the final answer. (1 Corinthians 15:58 | NIV Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.)
This is why I found myself being upset with God today… Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Mother prayed to keep her mind, so why couldn’t she have her hearts desire to not suffer like her mother, my step mother and her patients at work? She accepted His call, did what He asked and during the worse part of her illness she felt as if she had more work to do.” For the life of me I can’t understand “WHY??” To me, she DID have more work to do. There was so much more that I needed to know and learn from her. By no way do I believe that God is a magician, but I do believe that He is a miracle worker. Didn’t my Mom deserve a miracle? With all of her ups, downs, struggles and success shouldn’t she have gotten something?
After I got out of my feelings and into my Bible and then to google for further research, 1 Corinthians 2:9 was revealed to me and it says, “However, as it is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him.” At the end of the day how can you question that?
Everything that happened leading up to Mom’s transition is still very fresh and hard to accept sometimes especially with the anniversary of her passing approaching. I’m doing the best I can for the most part because I DO know God, I DO Love Him, and I DO believe in His Word and I KNOW she’s not coming back. It’s just today is not a good day. I really miss, want and need my Mommy and I pray tomorrow will be better.