Faith Column: Remember the goodness of God during bad times
This year my mom was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease after progressively-worsening signs and symptoms prompted some visits to specialists in the Minneapolis area.
Over the past two years we all noticed some memory-related issues, but we had no clue just how bad things had become. Her once sharp memory is now a clouded jumble of memories and people she just can’t quite reassemble, and it makes for a very frustrating situation for her, my dad, and the rest of us. My oldest son and my niece both graduate from high school this year, but we are afraid that mom will not be of sound enough mind to take part in one or both events, which will be about 1,200 miles apart at the same time.
So, a few weeks ago we traveled to Minnesota for a visit and held an “early” graduation party for both the soon-to-be graduates. It was a very fun event and went off without a hitch and Mom enjoyed it.
Amid all the fun, though, she asked me on more than one occasion, “Who are those two boys?” (referring to both my sons). I would tell her who they are and we would move on with the visit, but it really hit me hard and had me questioning why a good and gracious God would strike down a wonderful woman with such a horrible disease. The answer came from another good source; my dad.
When my dad and I talked about mom being unable to remember the boys, he told me, “Every day is a good day for Mom because she is always meeting new people and making new friends.”
His wife of 56 years has been robbed of nearly all her memories, and he has had to assume the grueling role of caretaker for her, but he just smiled. He explained to me that faith is what always carries us through tough times, and God never afflicts us with anything we can’t handle. He said that the trials mom faces as an Alzheimer’s patient are overcome by the joy she feels each day in “meeting new people.” Instead of choosing to be saddened by the memories lost, they both are joyful at their new daily adventures.
Long before we all were born onto this Earth, we agreed to be tested by trials so that we could be strengthened. Trials aren’t just limited to those who are afflicted. Those of us around them are also subject to the trials. But, instead of looking at trials as sad necessities, perhaps we should look at them with more of a glimmer of hope.
Suffering is a necessity, and trials are not fun, but God does ease our suffering and Jesus is constantly at our sides helping through our pain. I know that He is at my mom’s side easing her suffering, because although she is afflicted with a disease that robs her of memories, he is there to make sure she is making new friends every day.
Gerard Geis — Member, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsGerard Geis — Member, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsGerard Geis — Member, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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