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  • Writer's pictureBob Koehne

Close Beside Me

In the past I have shared with you that my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Over the last several months my conversations with her on the phone have become shorter and at times disorientating. It had become obvious to me just over the phone how much she had deteriorated. Both of my brothers still live near her in the Chicago area and around the first of the year we talked about what the next steps might be for her. After many difficult conversations we decided that she needed to move into an assisted living facility where there is 24 hour nursing care.

A little less than two weeks ago my brothers and their wives all took off a day from school (three of them are teachers and one is a principal) and moved my mom. She was not happy about this transition. The last thing she said to my older brother when he left that first evening was, "I just want to go home." It was a little heartbreaking to hear that, especially living across the country and being unable to be a part of this transition for my mom and being able to stop in and see her.

What I do take comfort in is know that my mom is safe and there are people always around that can care for her. Living at home she was forgetting to take her medicine; she had lost the ability to use the phone to call for help; and it just wasn't wise to have her living alone anymore. When I think of what my mom is feeling in this new place I think about Psalm 23. In this very familiar Psalm, verse 4 tells us, "Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me." The dark valley my mom is going through is not the new living arrangements, but rather the inability to remember and know what is going on around her. I know God is with her every moment. Even in the times she feels most alone, we have a God who will be with her. Even when she forgets everything, He will not forget her, for God has called my mom His child. He is ever faithful. This is what comforts me.

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