Jogging the Memory

Senior woman at the beach

And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.—ACTS 15:31 [ESV]

Hurricane Rita crushed southeast Texas, destroying homes and lives. My brother evacuated my mom and her cat, Dewey, to Houston, where it was safer. When Mom returned, however, she became disoriented, fell, and broke her pelvis.

The doctors said surgery would be unnecessary; with time, the bones would knit on their own. Mom lay in a hospital bed for days, after which she underwent rehabilitation for two weeks. She came home, delighted to be reunited with Dewey, but distraught that she didn’t have a firm handle on the timeline of what had happened to her.

“I lost a whole month of my life,” she wailed. “And I don’t know where it went!” Although she grew stronger each day, Mom continued to obsess over that lost month. I felt helpless in the face of her anguish until one day, when I spotted her daily datebook, I had an idea. Starting with the day Hurricane Rita hit, I reconstructed each day up to the time she returned from the hospital.

“Here, Mom,” I told her. “I’ve written down what you did every day since the hurricane. You went to Bob’s on September 24th, came home on October 2nd and fell on the 3rd. You stayed in the hospital from the 4th to Halloween. It’s all here!”

Mom pored over the pages for an hour, after which she looked up, gave me a big smile and said, “I got my life back!”

Today's Prayer:

Help me, dear Lord, to find creative ways to jog my loved one’s memory.

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