Several years ago the Lord impressed upon my heart to write about walking with him. Not from an “I’ve got it all together” perspective, but from a life’s real perspective; me sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly as I try to journey through life with God at the helm. Today, I’m sharing with complete vulnerability.
It’s not easy watching a loved one age. It’s even harder when your loved one’s diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I guess I should find comfort, but I don’t, in knowing we’re not alone. It saddens me to know over 10 million people worldwide are affected by this disease. Praise the Lord there are drugs to help manage the symptoms. To date there’s no cure for this “evil” disease. Tremors which appear later in the disease’s progression, is the most recognized symptom sending people to seek medical attention. My hubby didn’t exhibit any tremors; therefore Parkinson’s wasn’t even on my radar. I simply thought he was aging quickly. A friend observed several of the non-motor symptoms related to Parkinson’s in my hubby after spending a week with us and encouraged us to seek medical evaluation; one of God’s blessings in our journey. Last year hubby received the news he did in fact have Parkinson’s disease.
I’m watching the man I love disappear a little at a time. I see his memory and cognitive skills diminishing. I see him work hard to share a thought; when the right words just won’t come. I’m learning to say, “Honey, I can’t hear you” instead of “speak up” when his voice is barely above a whisper. I watch as his gait becomes more of a shuffle and his arms lay subdued at his side when walking. My heart hurts for the man who now asks for help with tasks he could once do with ease. I try to not feel insecure when I see the man who always seemed assured and confident becoming more unsure; a man strong and independent growing more dependent. We’re blessed he has more good days than bad. We both know as the disease progresses those days will grow fewer and more care may be required. I’ve been grateful he has not had to deal with tremors and hopeful they wouldn’t appear. Last evening while praying, I felt his hand quiver uncontrollably for the first time. A sign the disease is progressing.
He hates the thought of becoming “a burden to his wife”. He feels responsible as if somehow he’s failed me as a husband, a protector, a lover and companion. I reassure him often that he would never be a burden. I love him. I meant it with my whole heart when I uttered the words “to love honor and cherish in sickness and in health”. Knowing I’m not strong enough and wondering how the Lord will sustain us. I pray he won’t sense my fear as I wonder “How will we do this Lord?” My hubby still has his little devilish grin and smile I fell in love with all those many years ago. That smile gives me a sense of assurance that no matter what comes, he knows he is loved; love never fails.
Due to my recent diagnosis, CVID, I can’t help but be concerned over what will happen to my beloved should my disease advance and I get seriously ill or worse… die. The time for having conversation regarding our home and the future will need to take place this year. A topic I never dreamed we would need to broach so soon in our lives. I’ve been blessed by the Lord most of my life with strong coping skills. Scripture verses such as Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 my anchor. Apparently my anchor is in need of shoring up. Why do I feel so alone? Where did the gal who knew all things would work out, go? What happened to the gal who took things in stride, felt confident and assured? Why does uneasiness befall and haunt me almost nightly? Did I rely too much on my hubby all these years and not enough on the Lord? Hmm, I wonder.
All hope is not lost. The Holy Spirit is at work. More to come.
Until next time may your life be filled with Hugs of Joy