Forgetting and Remembering

Concerned man looking out the window

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.—MARK 10:9 (NIV)

Frank was one of the most attentive husbands I had ever met. For two years, he visited his wife, Sarah, in the nursing home every day to sit with her, often bringing her flowers or pieces of costume jewelry. She had long since forgotten who he was, but she was always pleased to spend time with him. One morning, I arrived with Frank, and we walked into the building together. As we entered the lobby, Sarah was sitting on the couch with another resident, holding his hand. Frank stopped in his tracks and looked at the ground. Then he put on a smile, and walked over to them. Sarah introduced her companion to Frank as her husband. Frank shook his hand and then sat with them, chatting about the day.

I later asked Frank about that incident and what he was feeling when he saw them. “At first, of course, I was shocked,” he told me. “But then I grasped, as I had in gradual stages over the past two years, that this disease of Alzheimer’s is robbing my wife of how she is, but in the end, it can never take away who she is. She will always be my wife and God’s child. If she can’t remember us, that’s OK. Because I will.”

Today's Prayer:

Lord, in times when may I forget you, thank you for never forgetting me.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts