On an early trip back to my roots, when our children were small, we visited Pattonsburg, Bethany, McFall, and St Joseph in Northern Missouri. I had forgotten how hilly parts of the landscape were. I had forgotten the sounds and the smells. Standing outside the car on the side of the road I took a deep breath and remembered home. The farm and the house in Pattonsburg. The one room school house, and the brick school in town. Going to the Methodist church in town and marching down the street with the band in St. Joseph. “Here comes a band that is so big they don’t have enough uniforms,” the announcer said during the apple blossom parade. How many times can you sing 99 bottles of beer on the wall going to a basketball game in another town?
Those are memories and they were made like the hills with many ups and downs. But what can you do when you suddenly find that the hill only goes down, down all of the way?
I told a friend that I had expected to hear the news I heard at the doctor’s office on Tuesday, but nonetheless it still stunned me and I had not yet absorbed it. And I still haven’t. Brad has moved from mild cognitive impairment to early stage Alzheimer’s. That means the hill will keep going down—it won’t get better—it won’t level out…..
For my devotions I use Touchstone’s Daily Devotional Guide. I am actually addicted to it. There is usually an Old Testament reading, a Gospel reading, another New Testament reading and one or several Psalms. But the day after receiving the news from the doctor I ended up skipping my reading in Exodus. I started it but somehow reading about how to furnish the tabernacle just wasn’t helping—but yes, the Psalms, always the Psalms—they are, through our union with Christ, our prayers, because they are his.
Steady all the way through, he is there, Jesus is there. Afterwards, at home, Brad prayed for us. Not I, but Brad. And he talked of how we must continue to enjoy our future. It is downhill, but the end is home. The saints in the City of God—those enrolled in heaven. The city full of angels. The City of light. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.