She watched her husband from a distance. He seemed confused as to what direction he should go. He turned left, stopped, and looked to his right. He took a step that way. Stopped. Turned around. He seemed lost. A look of trepidation came over his face.
“Strange,” she thought. He had gone to the washroom, so she waited for him on the mall bench. Coming out, he didn’t know where to go. It wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. Other instances flooded her mind. Driving on the wrong side of the road for a split second, confusion over trying to put shingles on the cottage roof, only shaving one side of his face. She knew something wasn’t right.
Doreen stood and waved. “Over here, Bert.”
She noticed his expression change to relief as he smiled and walked her way.
In 1993, my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Our grandmother had this disease, so Dad knew the road he was about to take. Zigzags. One day would be normal with the next being in a state of confusion. Turns from left to right. Up and down. Frustration set in. Dad didn’t want to go through it. He didn’t want his wife or children to have to watch him go through it.
He wanted out. Now.
Mom poured out her love to him. It was hard to see her husband die a little bit each day, but she kept on keeping on. I’m still amazed at her outlook through this journey. She was always thankful for the little things. Things we take for granted. A beautiful sunny day, fresh snowflakes floating through the air, or simply an afternoon spent with a loved one.
She saw these as gifts from God.
Do you look for the little things in the zigzags of life? In the rough times, do you see the gifts along the way? In the joyous moments, do you rejoice for what the Lord has given you?
I must admit, there are times I don’t.
I look back at the journey my mom went through and learn from her actions. Throughout the zigzags, she rejoiced. I must remember to do the same.
She placed the needle in the fabric and began her herringbone stitch. The overlapping cross-stitches began to form a beautiful zigzag pattern. She smiled as it reminded her of the life God had given her. Zigzags. Beautiful times. Heart-wrenching times. Together they shaped her quilt in completeness. One without the other would be fragmented.
Psalm 31:7 (NIV)
I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.