Friday, June 2, 2017

Saying it hard- the hills go down

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.


  1. If you have a minute, I’d really appreciate it if you took a look at Emily’s Virtual Rocket. This is a serious newsblog which has been taken from e-newspapers and e-magazines from around the world, with an emphasis on transgender issues. Also, with his election, I look for articles which critique Donald Trump.

    I hope you enjoy this. Please paste the following:

    If you like it, please consider putting it among your favorite blogs. I would greatly appreciate it.



  2. Dear Emily, two things, as you can tell if you are reading any of my posts this is a Christian blog and I believe the Bible is very clear about sexual sin as it is clear about all kinds of sins. Jesus loves the sinner, that is why he died on the cross to give us new life, to transform the sinner. The other thing is that this is not a political blog. It is about my and my husband's journey with Alzheimer's. While I am not happy with Donald Trump as president this is no place to discuss political views. I suggest that you see my article at "Donald Trump, allowing himself to be an idol: playing with the Führer Principle." That is on my other blog Naming His Grace.

  3. It's down hill, but the end is home.... I'm at Sea-Tac heading home in an hour. I'm weeping a little bit, after reading your post. Not from sadness, not from joy... something containing, but more than both... the utter poignancy of of the truth and reality your words reveal and the longing they create. God bless you and Brad as you walk this downhill road home with Jesus.

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  5. Andy thank you for sharing. A beautiful story about your mother.

  6. This is such powerful, beautiful writing, Viola. And such a hard and precious journey, one I've walked myself (as a grandchild) and as a pastor with some souls I loved most dearly.

  7. Thank you Dave, I will be writing again. We have enjoyed several weeks of friends and family with no time to write.