Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:34
Have you ever studied Meteorology? I took one class at Missouri State University albeit a very challenging one. Flash back to 1991 or 2. It was a 5-hour course with a lab component and I got a C. I seldom got Cs, but this one I was please with because it was that hard. It was taught by a local weather legend: Tornado Ted Keller. Ted was, and still is, a genius on weather. He was a genius on it before the most modern science has added to the data collection in big ways.
I tried and tried to figure out the science, or perhaps more rightly said the art of predicting the weather. I could see the signs, evaluate the models as best I could, and still be completely wrong. Never would I be the guy that criticizes the weather folks again after that C.
Can I share another inexact science with you? The pathology and life-expectancy of a poor soul with dementia. I am often asked, as if I can even predict what jacket to wear, whether I feel like their loved one will be around long based on a description of his/her symptoms. A sentence comes to mind from a good friend named Job:
“A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set. So now look away from him that he may rest, until he has lived the time set for him like a man paid to work.” Job 14:5-6
Sure we can look at the clouds, measure the speed and direction of the wind, check how juicy the air is, and look at the history, but we cannot tell you definitively that it WILL rain. Likewise, I can tell you that, often after a fall, a stroke, a surgery, or similar that your loved one will get worse and will die with dementia…but I can’t even guarantee that will be the cause of death and I surely can’t tell you when.
Next week Mom enters her 36th month ON HOSPICE. You know, that dreaded loud word we are taught to hear and immediately gather around and say goodbyes while it still echoes in the halls. Yup. That one. However, not so much on hospice for dementia. One of my favorite folks on Facebook lost her husband recently of early onset dementia. She posted that he was placed on hospice and had a terribly fatalistic tone in her post. I prayed for the two of them, but I couldn’t even pray right. I prayed that she would endure the long months and possibly years ahead…and the Intercessor/My Lord…corrected my prayer and told the Father “What Mark meant to say is “Your Will be done”. He was right, I was wrong. His wife was much closer than I was. He passed away very quickly and mercifully.
So, what do I know?
LOL. My wife asks that question of me often. 🙂 I do know these things, though:
- Duration varies by the person, by the location/type of dementia, and by the Will of God that overrides science.
- We NEED to treat every day like it might be the last we will have everyone in our lives. NOT in a fatalistic, depressed way, but with a glimmer of excitement not as from someone on death row. Unless we find out otherwise, we GET another day with friends and family. This is a commodity I know at least a few of my best friends would pay dearly for some of.
- None of us are gettin’ out of here alive, friends. (Minus His return…a separate topic). We are all terminal, just some of us are more terminal than others in the same way as a person newly pregnant is a bit less pregnant than someone at 9 months and 4 days….but is absolutely still pregnant.
- This unpredictability stinks. It is very hard. I am sorry. 🙁
Keep fighting, friends, for a cure. Keep loving them like the end is near and do it with joy, not reserving the emotional capital to handle it better when their time is up….as if that is possible. Leave it all on the field, and do your best. 🙂 I wish I had mom with me for a decade more…and who knows, I just might…but the chances to the contrary, as they say, are very high.
I am running a 50k Saturday as a test to see how close I ma to being able to complete this mess in June. 🙂 The above is the weather forecast. Looks like a great day for a 31 mile run, eh? 🙂 No worries…the weather is an inexact science. 🙂
Here is my fundraising like for my Longest Day event in June. If you feel up to chipping in a few coins, they are always appreciated 🙂 Thank you thank you thank you. I can assure you that this money will not buy me anything nor will not even cover my assumed, prolonged hospital stay. 🙂 LOL