Today is another Friday.  The first Friday in a while where I feel calm.  It’s overcast and sometimes that can make mom anxious, but today, she is peaceful.  I am so thankful for moments of peace these days.  Moments where coffee can be enjoyed.  Lists can be made and checked off.  Silence can be experienced and appreciated.  Dogs can be spoiled and blogs can be written!

On Fridays, I, like so many others, look forward to linking up with writers all over the place for Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung’s Heading Home.  She gives us a one-word prompt and we write.  Just write.  For 5 minutes.  It is strangely exhilarating and freeing and energizing.  And on this calm, overcast Friday, I am ready to write…

…how interesting that today’s prompt is READY!


I thought I was READY.  We had talked it over.  I had a picture in my mind.  We READIED a room.  We arranged a truck.  We made all the necessary arrangements.  We were READY.

Or at least we thought we were.  Alzheimer’s has a way of cutting you off at the knees.  It does everything in it’s power to show you just how NOT READY you are.

Alzheimer’s from far away – movies, books, acquaintances – is odd.  It’s funny at times.  And a little scary because it’s so hard to really understand.

Alzheimer’s from 1000 feet – a family member or parent of a good friend or former teacher that you see occasionally – is “Really?”  Because that’s what you are secretly thinking.  That can’t be real?  Are they trying to get away with something?  How stupid do they think I am?  Is that what my mom called ‘senile’?  Or a ‘senior moment’?

Alzheimer’s in your dining room is AWFUL.  AND UGLY.  AND UNBELIEVABLE.  AND SOUL SUCKING, GUT WRENCHING AND HEART BREAKING.  And there is no way to be READY for it.

The things that happen.  That you experience.  That you have to deal with.  The new lessons and tips and tricks that you need to learn or improvise or make up on the fly.   The questions you get asked and the conversations you find yourself in the middle of.  The strange and unexpected trip into Alzheimer’s World.  How are you supposed to get READY for that?

Don’t ask me – I have no idea!

Because I thought I was READY.

I guess you can never be ready for something completely new.  For something so few of us ever get to see up-close and personal.  For something that has been kept in the dark for so many years.

But God knew I was READY.  Maybe not for Alzheimer’s in my dining room.  But READY to care for my mom.  READY to make our home her home.  READY to train up my children in what it means to be selfless and kind and gentle.  READY to find humor and beauty in awful circumstances.

I’m so glad He’s got me.  He’s got my family.  And I’m sure, my mom.

So, even though you can never really be READY in the way my human heart and mind like to be prepared.  God can lift you up to handle anything.


15 Comments on Five Minute Friday – Ready (for Alzheimer’s?)

  1. My dad cared for my mom for the four years between her Alzheimer’s diagnosis and her passing. It was so hard on him. My prayers are with you, and your mom, and your family. My prayers and my tears. God bless you all.

    • Thanks David – it is so much harder on the family than it is on the person with Alzheimer’s. And there’s no explaining it or using logic or any of the other things. Prayers are exactly what I need!

  2. You were more ready than you thought you were. You just hadn’t yet learned about Alzheimer’s close up. So much different that seeing it when you visit. Or work with it for 8 hours and go home (like I did). You are an inspiration and a teacher to all of us who haven’t seen Alzheimer’s close up!

  3. Popping in from FMF. The title of your post drew me in. My sister and I are dealing with multi-infarct dementia in our mom. In February she was fine, normal, living on her own, shopping, driving. By the end of March she could not tell the difference in her telephone and her television remote. She is now incontinent and confused. It has been a stunning diagnosis to us, yet the Lord has been so faithful in the midst of it. We didn’t think we were ready for this kind of diagnosis but He has walked with us. Blessings to you as you journey with your mom.

    • Oh Leah, I am so sorry. The slow decline is hard enough, but when it’s quick and sudden and so awful – it can be really hard to accept. So thankful you have each other and your faith to keep you going and keep you caring. God bless you all. Saying a prayer for your family tonight.

  4. i think this is a stunning post.and the last have the discussion you need then by the end of the post its like youve worked through lots of stuff and got rational head on and found real deep reasons for “keepin on going strong”which is great. becasue what reasons is a question i think id just get to overwhelmed to think bout.there are so many horrid things happening in the wrold the “whys” just cant be thought about. but ready perhaps that how we all need to look at struggles.that someone thought we were ready for this.but more important as you say ready fpor your mum.that shook my heart that line”looking after your mum” and from what ive seen you are so ready for this as you or anyone could be and are doing brilliantly.i cant think of any day or test youve had and wrote about that i think anyone could or should have doine differently.
    this is a harsh situation at times.but again its your mum.and for family we get through becasue some strength and readyness comes from somewhere eh.
    your so could teach so many so much.and your a great daughter.
    i was reading a book that said when life is hard envolve yourself as one with the mundane tasks and see them as beautiful things. like driving a car you are at one with the car and look at how far you can go and places you can see.when cooking is the last thing you want to do see yourself with the ingredients.adding things to make tastes change progress and become something bigger a feast for your family an unnappreciatiad meal perhaps but by you you crafted this dish to be later experienced.
    i think this is a good way to look at it when your days seem really tough and you not ready.remember the stuff you do all the procresses of your day make something major important.would you ever think youd be ready for something so huge as that!!as making things happen by every process you make and achieve.go you

    • Hey Kate! I love the ideas in this book you are reading…you must send me the title. I do tend to ‘fantasy up’ my mundane tasks…dancing and singing and spinning and seeing how many things I can balance on my head or whatever the occasion calls for. Sometimes I time myself and make up races or games. Lately I’ve been trying to help mom find her words and I make bets with myself…if she says the word, I get something (a grape or a chocolate chip or the special creamer in my coffee). And I get bonus points (from myself!) if I get her to remember it within a certain amount of tries. So bizarre. My kids are worried that someone is going to find out how strange their mother is…I don’t have the heart to tell them it’s probably genetic!!! 🙂
      Thanks for your always kind words. And you are 100% right – writing helps me work things out. It really puts things in perspective!

  5. My heart goes out to you, Lisa. I cared for my mom here at our home when she was sick for a time, but she didn’t have Alzheimer’s. I don’t know the struggles you encounter daily, but I understand a little of what it takes to care for someone sick. I’ll be praying for you. May God give you exactly what you need when you need it. I loved your writing here, and I appreciate your transparency. Keep sharing. God is using you to encourage others! Long-distance hugs are coming your way.

    • Thanks Julie. I am constantly lifted up by this wonderful community of writers and caregivers I find through my stories. So many people are finding themselves ready for whatever God has in store. Thanks for the hugs…I can always use them!

  6. Are we ever ready for something like this? Probably not. But you get as ready as you can, and you learn through it. What’s the saying? Life is where the exam comes first, the lesson second.

  7. wow. you really are being made ready for so much. all of us have something, some crucible we have to deal with. isn’t it interesting that while all of us bear some burden and its different, the core is the same though. that there is some purpose in it all…that one day the pain of this will make the joy of Heaven even better. you are brave! in so many ways

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