“..and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. ” 2 Cor. 1: 3 and 4
This indeed is the reason why I felt led by God to write this blog. I pray that it will be a comfort and help for those who need it. In 2 Corinthians 1:3 it says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” God cares about our struggles, he cares about the difficulties we face in this life. He cares about our loved ones suffering and those of us put in the position to care for them.
2009 started with such happiness and hope. Our son had just married his high school sweetheart on December 27, 2008. My father, a retired minister had the joy of being a part of the ceremony as he had also done with our daughters. It was also a highlight for my mother Charlotte. She was having difficulty recovering from a stroke. This stroke had affected her in such a way that she was showing signs of dementia. She still knew her family and was very proud of her grandchildren. She experienced joy watching her great granddaughter as she took part in their uncle’s wedding ceremony. She carefully held the youngest great grandson in her arms while wedding pictures were taken. Each new great grandchild that was placed in her arms gave her special joy. Even in the midst of the terrible changes taking place in her body and mind you could see that God was watching over and caring for her.
In late October 2008, my father had contacted my younger brother. He is a nurse and my dad reached out to him as it was becoming more and more difficult for him to take care of my mom. He just did not feel as if he could take care of mom as she was forgetting more an more each day. My brother in turn reached out to my husband and myself . His house had too many stairs for mom. He was unaware that we were already searching for a house big enough to have my parent’s move in. In November we had the opportunity to show my parents the house we had found and were hoping to be able to buy. I will never forget standing in the back yard with my parents with our hands clasped together in prayer. My father’s very simple prayer was “let it be”. He called it the “pretty house”. It was in all of our eyes perfect for the need we had to take care of mom. Although we were not always able to see it, God’s hand was guiding us every step of the way.
We were able with God’s grace to be able to buy the pretty house. We planned the rooms and excitedly waited to move everyone in. That however, was not to be. Just after New Years day in 2009, my father slipped on ice in a restaurant’s parking lot and broke his hip. Dad never wanted to be a burden to anyone and refused to have an ambulance called. Two people helped get dad in the car and mom drove him to the hospital in Clarksburg WV. Dad still had mom drive despite her developing dementia. He was unable to see enough to drive safely, and mom could still get to places that were familiar to her.
That evening we were called by my very panicked and confused mother. Somehow she had made it home to her apartment in Parkersburg WV safely. She had decided to drive home as she could not remember any of our phone numbers to inform us of what had happened. She could not remember details of what had happened to dad-or even what hospital he was in. Making matters worse there happened to be a problem with her phone line. She could call us, but when myself or my siblings tried to call her we were connected to a lady unknown to all of us. As it was a Wednesday evening we knew that there would be a midweek worship service at the church just down the street from mom and dad’s house. As I knew my mother would let a policeman in we called for a policeman to go to mom’s house until we could get someone from church to come sit with her. Our daughter kept calling the church until she could reach someone while my husband and I packed very quickly and got on the road for our 3 hour drive to mom’s.
Where would we have turned but to God. There are times when we pray and wonder, does he hear, does he care? Why is this happening to us and where is God when the pain and fear seem overwhelming? So many times in Psalms we hear David asking these questions. In Psalm 27:7 he says “Hear my voice when I call Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.” Oh how we wanted to be heard and answered on that night. I know now we were heard. God protected mom on her way home, he led the way so that she would arrive safely. He protected her and comforted her with the presence of a kind policeman and later a friend from church. I know for certain that my dad was praying along with the rest of us.
It was very late when we arrived to find a very kind friend from church sitting with mom. Mom was very confused and frightened but very relieved to see us. After some gentle questioning and a few phone calls we located the hospital where dad was. The next day we brought mom home with us . This was the beginning of our journey taking care of mom. We knew nothing about what was ahead of us.
You may be starting a journey with a loved one. You may have many concerns and questions. You may be wondering why is this happening in your family, to your mom or dad. Does God even care about what you are experiencing? Psalm 46:1 states “God is our refuge and strength , an ever-present help in our trouble”. God cares so much for each and every one of us. He is there in the midst of our trouble, He offers comfort and covers us with that comfort. He is indeed the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” My hope is that somehow through my experience, you may be comforted.