My wife’s Alzheimer’s reminds me that she is a beloved child of God

Truth is, in many ways, a simple thing. But there are times when it is not so simple.

As I’ve written before, my wife Marty has Alzheimer’s. Caring for her exercises my wit in ways I never expected. It also reminds me of that fundamental, liberating truth: that she is, even now — especially now — a beloved child of God.

Here’s what truth looks like at my house:

Last night after dinner (by the way, I am turning into a pretty good cook), Marty asked me, “What time is my show on?”

Though I know she has no favorite TV programs, reflexively I asked her, “What show?”

(Her question was a warning bell I’ve learned to detect, but didn’t detect fast enough. She had stepped into what I call “uh-oh time” — moments that can lead her to become quickly frustrated and agitated.)

She looked at me and I could see her tensing up. Raising her voice a decibel or two, she said, “You know what show. Just tell me what time it comes on.”

Quickly I scramble for the right answer. “Sorry, sweetie, your show is not on tonight. There is a special about sharks, and you don’t care about sharks, do you?”

“You know I don’t like sharks. But that’s okay. I can watch the news, right?’


She headed to the sofa, sat down and picked up her puzzle book. She always was good at doing the anachrostics (I find them incredibly difficult) but now she more or less looks at the page, and holds a pencil on it … but the pencil never moves.

“Do I have to go to work tomorrow?” she asked. “I’m so tired. I really could use a day off …”

Two years ago I might have tried to explain to her that she does not have a job and has not worked in nine years. Now, using my ever-improving skills, I answer, “You’re right. You do look tired. I think you need a day off too. Don’t worry, I can call in and let them know you’re sick.” Continue reading

  • Larry Peterson is a Christian author, writer and blogger who has written hundreds of columns on various topics.
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