Tuesday, April 19, 2016


"When joy and sadness meet
...this life is bittersweet."
Bittersweet by Moxy Fruvous

My husband got a text from his sister on Friday.
She said their mother wasn't doing well, 
not eating, not drinking, not staying awake.
The caregiver at the private care home where their mother lives thought we should come.

We've grieved the loss of her for some years now.
Alzheimers stole her away.
She hasn't known who any of us are for quite some time.
At least her mind doesn't know who we are, 
but it seems like something in her spirit knows we are connected.
When we walked into her room, she woke up, started smiling, and tried her best to talk to us,
 though very little of it made any sense.
Yet, the fact that she was smiling, chuckling at times, enjoying us being there, 
was the sweet in the midst of the bitter of this devastating disease.

It didn't take long for her to be worn out and to go back into a deep sleep.
We were able to enjoy lunch and some good conversation with my husband's sister.
Afterwards, my husband and I drove and enjoyed the beauty of summer-like weather in April on Puget Sound.
Time with my husband's sister, time together, the beauty of this place, the warm weather,
more sweet in the midst of the bitter.

(Kim Klassen's waterfront-1 texture, lighten, 15% opacity)

The next day our three daughters, with our youngest grandson tagging along, drove up.
Again, their grandma woke up, smiled, and tried to talk to them when they came into her room.
Seeing my girls speak to her about good memories they recalled with her,
seeing them kiss her and tell her goodbye in case they don't see her again in this life,
was definitely bittersweet.

On our way home, we all stopped for a short time to let our grandson play at the park on Lake Washington.
Seattle and the Olympic mountains could be clearly seen across the lake.

My daughters getting to enjoy some time together, us getting to have some time with our three girls,
our youngest grandson supplying us all with plenty of reasons to smile,
more sweetness.

She's our last living parent.
We've been through the bitterness of loss before,
but each time there is the sweetness in the midst of the goodbye.
There's the sweetness of the assurance that this life is not all their is.
There's the sweetness of knowing that sorrow and suffering will one day be over.
There's the sweetness of family love and connection and support.
There's the sweetness of God's love and comfort and the sense of His presence.
And, in this case, there was the beauty of two unusually summer like days in April,
in this beautiful place.

still following,


  1. Pretty much at the same place with OUR mother (except that I drive over to spend the afternoons with her most days of the week). The disease is such a mystery...

    1. Such a mystery and so sad. I knew you'd understand.

  2. Such a lovely series Elizabeth...very emotional

  3. The blessing in the midst of the storm.

  4. My husband and I lost our last living parents some years ago and this would be an even larger loss without the promise offered of a new life in Christ. We will meet them again, and without the illnesses we've accumulated through the years.

    So sorry for your family's brush with death, but thanks be to God it is also a brush with life.

    Glad you could be there to brighter her day a bit.

    Best wishes, and thank you for sharing your story at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/04/stop-looking-at-me.html

    1. Absolutely, Sue! We have hope that this life is not all there is.

  5. Praying for you and your hubby, dear friend. There is the sweetness of knowing one day you will be with her again - and she will know you! There is the sweetness of knowing that one day you will be together and never have to say goodbye again. Asking God to hold you close.

  6. Life is bittersweet, the older I get the more I notice.
    Beautiful captures, thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for hosting each week, Kristy.

  7. praying for your family this morning...

  8. So sorry for you all, it's such a cruel disease. I hope you find comfort in your memories!

  9. Praying for your family today, Elizabeth. Hugs

  10. It's wonderful that you and your family know how to "handle" this kind of situation...and find blessings in it. (And your photos are terrific, as always!)

  11. Such a touching and heartfelt post. There was much beauty in it in spite of the saddness that Alzheimer's creates. I am experiencing a little of that now as my own mother is starting to show signs of Dementia. It is hard.

    1. It's hard to see the mental decline. God bless and keep you as you deal with your mother's decline.

  12. Oh! that darn old Alzheimer's!!! I've seen too many go through it. Lovely post of your thoughts and comparisons . Great photos too! Love the one of the fishes...clever!!!
    Have a blessed week,

    1. Addie, you bless me. Hope all is well with you!

    2. Oh!! my...thank you!!!
      I am getting there!!!

  13. Oh boy, you struck a nerve with this post. I lost my dad to Alzeheimers a couple of years ago. It's a devastating disease to both the victim and the family members. My heart goes out to all of you as you say goodbye to your mother-in-law. It's such a long goodbye. So happy you are able to still see beauty in this world of ours as you watch the ugliness of Alzheimers. Thank you so much for sharing at Song-ography.

  14. Such a heart-wrenching disease. I'm so glad you're all able to visit her and sweet the bitter. This post is a beautiful tribute and expression of your love, Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  15. such a bitter sweet moment. But I am glad you are getting sweet moments to remember your mil by, that is a gift.

    Lisa @ LTTL


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