Bittersweet Reunion. Real Resurrection Life from the 1st Book of Corinthians (15:22)


Sunset in Belgium

"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." (1 Cor 15:22 NIV)

My reunion with my mom in Europe last summer was bittersweet. Although Alzheimer's had nearly overtaken her entire brain, she still recognized my wife, children and myself.

Up until that time, my only contact with my mother was through daily phone calls, and due to her high level of anxiety, especially where air travel is concerned, we hadn't told her we were coming. As we arrived, unannounced, at the entrance to the nursing home where she lives, we called her on the cell-phone. We began our normal conversation: What are you doing? How is the weather? Etc., and then we entered the residents' area where we knew she would be. As soon as she saw us, a huge smile came over her face.

My mom wasn't able to communicate much with us during our stay, but she enjoyed looking at the photos we brought. Most of the time we sat in the residents' area, watching TV in silence, as even basic, general conversations was more than her mind could grasp on most occasions. From time to time though, she would turn to look at one or another of us and smile.

Interestingly, the night after our first visit, my mother reported that she had dreamed of our yard in Canada. When she woke up, she began telling everyone that we had come to take her out for ice-cream. We were excited by this, for the last time we had visited, two years earlier, she had refused to leave her chair to venture outside. The fact that she was initiating a little outing was really cool!

Being with her was the highlight of our trip, but after ten days, it was time to say goodbye. As we headed for the door, she became agitated and anxious. The head nurse stayed with her during this time, holding her arm and encouraging her. My mother was waving to us with a big smile on her face as we walked out of the nursing home. It was a moment I will never forget.

A few weeks after our return to Canada, she began showing signs of stroke. Nothing acute showed on the CT scans, and it was assumed she had suffered a mini-stroke, or trans ischemic attack (TIA). As compared to previous exams, the CT scan showed significant advancement of the Alzheimer's, and since this time, we were unable to talk to her on the phone. She didn't understand us, and the whole concept of a telephone conversation only served to frustrate and aggravate her.

If she, indeed, experienced a TIA, some initial improvement of symptoms was anticipated, and people all around the world began praying for her. We fixed our hopes on God. I am happy to report that today, for the first time since the TIA three months ago, we were able to have a conversation with my mother on the phone. A big thank you to everyone who has been praying for my mother! Your prayers made a difference!

God answers prayers my friend. My mom is a living example of that. I am aware that the going will be tough, especially since we live so far from her. But our eyes are focused on the One who is renowned for making the impossible, possible. Even after we pass away, we "will be made alive" in Christ. There is hope no matter what happens to us, thanks to our Forever friend.

Never lose hope. Jesus is our hope in all things. Hallelujah!

Rob Chaffart

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