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Lee and her husband are members of our church. But when her husband fell victim to Alzheimer's, they moved five hours away to a senior adult community that specialized in treating patients with the disease. On vacation with friends, two of us visited the couple this week.

 

It was good to see Lee.

 

It was good to see they were settled in a beautiful place.

 

It was good to know that Lee had help with her husband.

 

It was also heart-breaking to see her at this stage of life.

 

She is incredibly thin because she literally made herself sick taking care of him. She's living alone and struggling with the transition of leaving her home and her church that had been so important to her for her entire adult life. And, she is alone in her apartment, with her husband locked in the Alzheimer's unit.

 

But I saw a disciple who had continued in discipleship through it all. Lee spent 35 years at the church in the nursery, loving and rocking babies. When she became too weak to be able to pick them up, the babies were placed in her arms so she could rock and love them. She embodied the love of Christ.

 

Now living alone in her apartment, when she's not at meals or with her children or her new friends or visiting her husband, she sits studying an old leather Bible. The Bible seems to stay next to her on the sofa all the time. When I looked at the cover, I realized it was her husband's . . . his name was imprinted on the cover.

 

For me, that's a beautiful picture of love and discipleship. The Bible demonstrated her connection to the two people most important in her life, Christ and her husband. One is slowing disappearing from her as he forgets more and more; the Other will never disappear from her. In a dark time, Lee continues to rely on her "hope for things to come."

 

That's a disciple.

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Comment by Rafael J Gomez on October 6, 2011 at 10:03pm
Beautiful story...thank you.  There are so many wonderful faithful people out there.  They will be in my prayers.
Comment by Janice S. Garey on October 6, 2011 at 7:53pm
This blog post really touched my heart. The numbers of people in her situation will be growing. It makes me sad to think about when the elderly can no longer participate in their beloved church home where they are so well acquainted with brothers and sisters in Christ.

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