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As We Watch


My friend Jeff spent a week with his parents.  His mom is 82; his dad is 86.  Jeff’s dad is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s, one of the worst thieves on the list of mental illness, and Jeff’s mom serves as primary caregiver.

They’ve been married for 61 years, and though she too is old and probably ailing in her own ways, she tends to his every need, though he is no longer present to thank her, engage her, or even recognize her.

Jeff’s mom talked with her daughter on the phone, grieving the journey she travels with her lifetime love.

“I just don’t understand why, at this point in my life, God wants to teach me patience.”

Her daughter responded with diamonds of wisdom that I have taken to heart and cannot stop replaying in my mind.

“Mom, perhaps it’s not only about what God is teaching you, but maybe it’s about what God is teaching us as we watch you walk this path.”

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Keep writing Tricia. Your blog is insightful and inspiring. You’ve got a gift.

  2. My grnadma isat the end stages of Alzheimer’s and my uncle gave up his life to move in with her and take care of her. I have been a CNA in Alzheimer’s for 14 years. What is scariest of all is I see the signs in my mom. Litle things like losing track of where she is or where she is going, if it happens with me in the car my quesiton is how many times does she doitwhen she is driving alone. She moves stuff cant remember where she puts it. Repeats herslef. What is the most frustrating for her she knows she cannot remember and there maybe a problem but if she denies it then maybe it isn’t happening. I know what is to come does not make it less devastating. My son will be raised and on his own and then I will be caring for my mom. I am an only child, so no other siblings to share the burden my step-dad is here but if she cant get up on her own he cannot physically lift her now much less if and when the time comes. The hardest thing is watching you mate or parent become a stranger in a short matter of time.

  3. Tricia,
    You only have to have a short conversation with Jen about my 90 year old mom, to really grasp just how timely this particular blog subject was for ME.
    Love you and praying for you-SOOOO relish your daily blogs,
    Lynda Wishart

  4. This made me just sob. One of the things that I have been overwhelmed by is the number of people who have told me what they are learning as they watch my family respond to losing my dear husband. We are not consciously aware that they are watching at the time; therefore, it is just amazing to see how God is not only showing us grace and mercy to continue on in the face of pain and suffering but how he is gently drawing others closer to Himself at the same time. I am humbled to be used that way.

  5. I love this because I have spent my whole life trying(key word there…trying…) to figure out what God is teaching me through every little thing that happens in life. Just this year I have begun to realize that it’s not all about me and God’s lessons. I absolutely need to keep trying to find the lessons, but I also need to realize that sometimes I am just a small piece of a puzzle that God is fitting together for His plan that isn’t just for me or just for the other person, but for all of us!

  6. I, too, have been replaying in my mind Jeff’s story. My sister is primary caregiver for my Dad. He suffers from short-term memory loss and some health issues. My sister takes care of his every need in the most tender, loving way. I am writing her a letter this week…what a blessing she is to my brother and I who live away. I want her to know what I am learning from her….

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