“Gray hair is a crown of splendor: it is attained in the way of righteousness.
My Mom suffers from dementia.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Even though Mom cannot remember anything she, or anyone, just said or did, her husband of 35 years is ever faithful, loving and patient.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.' Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:10-12, 28-30)
Conversations with Mom have been replaced with repetitive, streaming cycles of eroding memories and thoughts ...
But, here's the thing;
Confusion occupies Mom's days in all areas but one...
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Bring up His name, she praises Him,
“Jesus is Lord!”
Express a concern, she offers instruction,
“Give it to God.”
Mom continues to pray, and prays for others, daily.
She recites the prayers of her youth, as well as prayers during Mass, without faltering and without assistance.
“My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long.” (Psalm 71:8)
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4)
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree … planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” (Psalm 92:12-14)
“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” (Job 12:12)
“Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:32)
I cherish every moment I am able to share with my Mom … I treasure every embrace, every kiss, the sound of her voice, and when she laughs - what a joyful sound!
Even though this cruel disorder is slowly snatching more and more of who she once was, I will selfishly weep at my loss when she finally goes home to Jesus –
but in my heart, I will rejoice …
For “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands … Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
... as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight … So we make it our goal to please Him ... For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
We know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others … For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view … Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them … We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5)
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
 Dementia is severe impairment or loss of intellectual capacity and personality integration, due to the loss of or damage to neurons in the brain.