WIMD Pulse - October 2014
Mother and Daughter
By Lanette Guthmann, MD
“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17a, NIV 1984).
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all’” (Proverbs 31:28-29, NIV 1984).
My heart is full after the conference in Philadelphia. How amazing to meet and talk to other Christian female physicians who are living through similar experiences. But we are much more than that, many are wives and mothers. And we are daughters.
It is the daughter job that is filling my plate currently. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year. I’ve been suspicious for four years.
While in Philadelphia, I met many women who have a parent with dementia. How painful it is that Mother is unable to remember things that used to be easy. She had an amazing memory, which is partly why it took so long to make the diagnosis. It is hard to see her this way. She is in memory care and as of today, we begin looking at skilled nursing home care.
Each step from independent living to assisted living to memory care and going forward to skilled care has had its challenges. Mother doesn’t know the day of the week. She guesses. She is unable to recognize her great grandchildren and sometimes her grandchildren. She still recognizes her children, but has no clue that I try to visit faithfully. She frequently asks me why I haven’t come to visit her. This hurts my heart.
But what a support the women of WIMD and the women of the commission have been to me. As one of the newest members of the commission, I now know that God’s timing was perfect when I was asked to join the commission. He put me with a group of women who understand where I’m at and what I’m going through.
When they tell me they “know,” that is exactly what they mean.
God has me in two Bible studies. I need the scheduled time in the Word. One Bible study is on Proverbs, titled being “A Woman of Wisdom.” The other is titled “Heaven.” What an amazing combination. The support from others in my church is also critical. The book on wisdom gets me though the tough times today. The study on heaven points me to the amazing time that is to come.
The women of WIMD and the women of my church are helping me through the struggles with my mother. Mother doesn’t recall that I’m visiting her frequently. But talking to other daughters reminds me that this is part of Alzheimer’s. The Word from God reminds me that wisdom comes from God, not from what is happening with my mother. Isaiah and Revelation remind me that we, who believe, will be given a new heaven and a new earth. What a promise for my mother who is a believer, and for me, her daughter.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for mothers and daughters. Thank you for your Word. Continue to be with us as we follow your wisdom on earth and look forward to a new heaven and a new earth.