when life goes on

lost, losing everything, compassion

Written by Lori

I am a fellow traveler on this journey toward Home. A follower of Jesus, hoping to shed a bit of His light with my words. I share a home with my best friend and fellow traveling companion, also Heaven bound, and two spoiled but wonderful cats. My passions are photography, writing, coffee, chocolate, and studying the Word, not necessarily in that order. I believe one of the most important ways to have a successful life is to always find humor in any situation. Former California girl, I now reside in Apache Junction, Arizona, but my heart longs for the Sierra Nevada, and the Pacific Ocean.

July 13, 2012

lost, losing everything, compassion

Editor’s Note: Read part one of this story… how to love the ones who don’t love you

I clean the cat box and elbow the 51 inch TV draped in a shroud on the screened in porch. It’s another thing that didn’t fit in the storage unit. There are now two china cabinets crowded into the dining area. One is her Mom’s.  Every now and then she stands and peers into it, as if she is trying to remember what she has in there and where they came from.

There are things crammed in corners and stored where they normally would not be, but this is part of the adjustment, part of the rearranging of a household, of a life.  

Clothes hang from the top bar of the swing in the patio room that she has slept in ever since her Mom moved into her bedroom. She hung them there originally because her Mom would come in and sit there and stare at her while she was sleeping.

Needless to say, it was a bit disconcerting.

Because of this, she rigged up a curtain that fell down in front of the sliding door for privacy during the night, but her Mom would make such a racket trying to get through it in the morning she stopped putting it down altogether.

It’s just another in a long line of sacrifices…..living ones, she has made since her Mom has come to live here, bringing her Alzheimer’s along.

The latest challenge involves trying to keep her Mom inside. With temperatures reaching 110 in the shade, we can’t let her go out. Her brain no longer tells her it’s too hot.  If she gets too chilly in the house, she opens the front door.

There are signs on the door, a sign on the microwave, a board on the outdoor swing, and a sign on the refrigerator door, that says “Keep closed.” The motor burned up on the last one when her Mom left the door open and it ran all night.

She is also not remembering when or what she eats. She will tell you she’s hungry 15 minutes after dinner.  And just lately, she has forgotten where the laundry is.

I wonder how long this will last, this displacement of our old lives, and this losing of hers?

Later that night, as I watch the wildfires raging through Colorado, all my irritation burns up along with the flames I see licking up and around houses and trees and engulfing everything in its path. Everything they owned, gone.

I was complaining about having too much stuff crammed in my house, when others were watching everything they owned go up in smoke. 

I watch her then, her mom, walk in and stare confused at the images of people losing everything on the TV and I wondered if maybe, way down deep in the brain plagued with Alzheimer’s, she possibly didn’t realize she was losing everything too.

And my heart explodes with compassion for her and gratitude for all I have. Yes, even in this cramped space built for two and now busting at the seams with three.


  1. 1lori_1

    Thank you Duane for sharing my story and shedding a spotlight on this heartbreaking issue! Just heard about another one today sitting around the table at my Moms Bible study group!

  2. Diana Trautwein

    I just tried to leave a longish comment with a link in it and the system is not digesting it well. Go to Paraclete Press and look for their new video/book on caring for people with Alzheimer’s. Maybe the link causes the comment moderations system to toss it out. But then again, this is the new disqus, which is giving people fits everywhere.

    • 1lori_1

      Yes, Diana and thank you, I will and will share it with my friend as well, thank you so much….will check it out now 🙂

  3. Sandra Heska King

    This–this displacement of old lives and the losing of another is a reality for so many. And the old lives will never be the same. Thank you, Lori. Hugs to you.

    • 1lori_1

      Thank you Sandra….so much!


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when life goes on

by Lori time to read: 3 min