My dad is 62 years-old, and 8 years ago was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers Disease. This diagnosis rocked my world.
My dad was able to function fairly normally for a couple of years after his dignosis, but then started to go downhill. It got to the point where my mom had to bathe him (my dad is 6'2'', and my mom is 5'4") and help him with the majority of his daily tasks.
Watching my parents walk through that was heart wrenching...devastating.
The disease finally reached a point where my mom could no longer give my dad the constant care he needed. He had become violent and would often wander off. The day finally came when he attacked my mom, thinking she was an intruder, and we were forced to move him into a nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's.
Walking away from my dad the first day we left him in the nursing home was the hardest day of my life. Dad was still aware enough at that time to know who we were, and he was very aware of us leaving him there.
In the 3 years since Dad went into the nursing home, I have gone through many seasons of grief and heartache. In that first year, I would often question God...,
"God, why my dad? He loves you with all of his heart, and he's so young.
Why do we have to lose him to this awful disease?"
In the past 2 years, God has used this trial to reveal Himself to me in new and beautiful ways. He has shown me that He is sovereign over my life and the life of my dad and He has given me a peace that "surpasses all understanding."
He has used this trial to show me his unconditional love, through the care of our church family and through His Word.
He has used this trial to bring my mom to an awareness of the Lord that she didn't have before my dad's illness, and He has used this trial to bring my wayward brother back to Him.
I don't question God about my dad's illness anymore, because I have the answers to the "why's" now....
I now know that He is using my dad's illness to bring us closer to Him, to make us aware of our desperate need for Him, and to show us that He is sovereign and will provide for our every need.
The most beautiful thing about all of this, is the fact that my dad loved to share the gospel...he didn't care who it was, he would share of his love for his Savior. Even now, when Dad can't talk anymore, God is still using his life to bring others to Him. Praise God!!
Has the terrible disease of Alzheimer's touched you or your family? I hope you've seen that there is blessing and growth through such a dark trial. I know that Patty would love to answer any questions you may have at her blog, pk's house.