I had a friend tell me once that circumstance or “happenstance” causes our happiness, but joy comes from the Lord; it comes from within. That is why even in times of sorrow, we can experience joy.
Romans 8:28 tells us: “In all things God works for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”
I’d like to share just a few of the joys God has given me through my Alzheimer’s journey with my dad.
1.My family is closer to home: It is because of Dad’s disease, that everyone in my family is now living in Illinois or Iowa. It brought my mom and dad back to their hometown – filled with people who know and love them. And even though the disease progression didn’t allow them to stay in their home very long, it meant a lot to me to have them back home because I know how much it meant to Dad. I find joy in this.
2. My time with him was a treasure. I never felt sad visiting my dad even when his Alzheimer’s had progressed to the point that he did not know me. Who I was did not matter because I knew for certain that he loved me, and I knew for certain that he knew I loved him in return. I could see it in his smile and in the way his eyes would light up when I walked into his room. We spent quality time together. I find joy in this.
3. My stories inspired others. Sometimes it takes something like this to make us all slow down and think about what really matters. A high school friend shared with me on Facebook that my stories about Dad were so inspiring that she even called her dad more often! I find joy in this.
4. My journey increased Alzheimer’s awareness. Because of my personal journey, others have become advocates for the Alzheimer’s Association, raising awareness and valuable research dollars so that hopefully we will someday have a cure for this horrible disease. I find joy in this.
I am thankful for the good God is bringing through this valley and for the joy He has given to me along the way. If you would like to support me in the fight against Alzheimer’s, please donate to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.