Sunday, November 29, 2009


I thought I would share with all of you some of the bits of our Thanksgiving . Jim and I were invited down to my son's house in a city about 75 miles away. Here are some of the scenes of our day.

Such a vividly beautiful Thanksgiving table setting!

Miranda showed off her Halloween Bunny

Another view of Matilda

The day ended with a quick return to catch a visit with Bill and we got him just as they were putting him to bed.
Below is something Jim ,my son who is visiting, wrote that I think holds a real thanksgiving message...
It is his only contact with the God that has sustained him for all these years through toil, war, illness, rejoicing, tears, sweat and now Alzheimer's. He was eager to be there by 10 am, in the activity room where church is held for the residents by a WELS Lutheran pastor who accepts all Lutherans.

Dad rolled his wheelchair down the long halls to the activity room with the altar in the corner. About 13 Lutherans in wheelchairs came where two or three are gathered in His name will have Christ in their midst as we are told by our Lord.

They handed out the red LCMS hymnbooks of yesteryear. Hands that once were confident and strong are shaky, deformed from years of arthritis could barely hold on to hymnals. Eyes weary from age needed help finding the hymns while the pastor said the words, line by line so they would understand them. Feeble voices filled the air when the hymns were sung with a piano, and every stanza was sung to the end.

The lesson was on Psalm 118 of thanksgiving that mentions "O give thanks unto the Lord for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever!" (I remember singing that in the liturgy during my childhood in the red old Lutheran Service Book & Hymnal)

The sermon was on how unthankful many of us are during this time of economic downturn, job loss, and aged and broken bodies that long to be 20 years old again. However, we were reassured that God still cares and that his mercy will endure in our lives and we need to be thankful.

Then it came time for the Lord's Prayer. Dad at 87, whose Alzheimer's has taken away his speech patterns and physical mobility, started talking and reciting from deep within. I looked at him and watched, as the prayer is something that the demonic Alzheimer's has not taken away yet.

I felt a tear in my eye as it was beautiful hearing my Dad recite with confidence, a prayer, which has been instilled in him from the time of childhood. I gave him a hug. I thought of my family then who I wished were there to see the lovely moment that I had just been given.

The Lord's mercy endured today and I was able to see a glimpse of my father like he used to be. Perhaps that is what God wanted me to see today to help me be reassured that my Dad is still there despite his fading away from us


Wanda said...

A beautiful post Bernie...I have read other posts of Alzheimer patients reciting bible verses or nodding along while listening to Bible verses being read to them. Your son's account of his visit must be a wonderful gift to you this Thanksgiving Season!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I loved this post Bernie. Blessings to you this holiday season.

The Weaver of Grass said...

A lovely post Bernie. I have a friend with Alzheimers - it is such a sad disease = it is lovely to see a sufferer smile.

Bernie said...

Bernie, this post has brought tears to my eyes, Alzheimer's is such a horrid disease and I am so happy your son got to see that beautiful glimpse of his father and then share it with the rest of the was meant to be.
The Thanksgiving table looks lovely, such vibrant colors and Matilda is a beautiful happy you got to enjoy Thanksgiving with your sons....Hugs

June said...

So it is: in the midst of sadness, a moment of pure loving joy.

Susan R. Mills said...

This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Tell your son that his words are priceless.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

The picture of you and Dad is precious. Lovely post.

Deb Shucka said...

Sweet pictures, especially the one with you and your husband. So glad your son had the gift of his father's voice and you the gift of your son's beautiful writing. Thank you for sharing this.

GooseBreeder said...

We never know what Altzheimer's victims remember or are experiencing, we can't ever assume can we?
Lovely day you had,happy Christmas!

My Aimless Infatuation said...

How beautiful,this filled my heart.


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