Alzheimer’s – You Don’t Have My Man

Hello in there – You seem not to hear –
Your countenance has changed so much –
Those baby blues seem vacant
Though I search them looking for you –
You look back at times – or do I imagine so –
Telling me you love me –
And you know I love you too –
Hello in there – I’m still waiting here –
A breath away from losing you
For a time – for a little time –
I won’t be afraid because I know
You’ll not slip away from me without
His call – Shall I regret –
Yes – I’ll grieve your absence here –
Alzheimer’s – you don’t have my man –
He’s where he’s always been –
Settled in his Savior’s care –
He’s still waiting there – taking a nap –
Snuggled in angels’ wings – wrapped in fervent prayer –
Cradled in the arms of Jesus –
Lingering a while longer with me –

By Carol Ann Hoel © October 15, 2011

Hebrews 13:5 – The Bible (KJV) – Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


I have no reason to believe that my hubby is about to leave me to be with Jesus. I have no assurance that he will stay here longer either. One day he seems strong and healthy; the next he seems weak and distant. I’m not ready to let him go. I’m thankful he’s here with me.

I’m getting better at being a 24-hour caregiver. I still have lots to learn, and I make mistakes.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. Blessings to you all.



About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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50 Responses to Alzheimer’s – You Don’t Have My Man

  1. Carol, I continue to pray for you and Johannes. You have such a beautiful way of expressing your thoughts, emotions, and prayers. It helps us know how to pray for you and also stands as a wonderful testimony to your Christian faith and to the faith of your dear husband. May God continue to sustain you and hold both of you in His loving arms. He is indeed our only hope!


  2. Susan says:

    Your poem is beautiful. I work full time in a senior care facitliy with an Alzheimer’s unit and your poem speaks volumes about what your husband is going through. I will pray for you. You need rest and strength being a 24 hour care giver, it is not easy but well worth it!



    • Thank you, Sue. Yes, it is well worth it. You see it everyday in the faces of the dear people that struggle with Alzheimer’s. Some days I am sure he understands and knows who I am. Other days, I’m certain that he doesn’t. Yet, I know that Jesus is with him as He promised in His Word. We are never alone. Blessings to you…


  3. tekia says:

    An encouraging and uplifting piece. Blessings to you and your family Carol!


  4. planejaner says:

    Love you, sweet lady.

    God has you, as well, in HIs peace.



    • Jane, I love you, too. I miss your posts and all the posts of so many friends. I hope to get back to blogging soon. I see it in my mind’s eye. I’m getting more relaxed, and we are with Hospice now. I’m getting more assistance, and Johannes is getting closer attention. It’s a good thing. Blessings to you…


  5. flyinggma says:

    Love to hear your loving words for Johannes. Such an encouragement and example for me to follow if I ever find myself caring for someone as you do daily.
    Blessings, thoughts and prayers to you dear Carol,


    • I’ve never had a more rewarding job. I cannot explain those words except to say that one more day to hug him and coddle him is precious. Johannes seems absent from the body, so he must be present with the Lord. Right? He’s ignoring me, but I know he is busy; his spirit and the Holy Spirit mingle and plan perhaps. This apparently all takes place somewhere in time and space. All the while I tend to his body. Every now and then he winks an eye. I wink back just in case he sees me. Sometimes I weep. When I am finished, I dry my eyes, and life is okay again. I’m in no hurry for my hubby to check out. I know that God is good. He is good to Johannes and good to me.

      Thank you for your encouraging words. Blessings to you, Jeanne…


  6. Yvette says:

    I send you love and blessings, your words are just beautiful. x


  7. pattisj says:

    Your love for your husband is a great testimony of God’s love, Carol Ann.


  8. Such a heart-yearning and poignant truth that will touch the hearts of many. My heart goes out to you and to all those spouses who slowly lose aspects of their loved one in this way. Hold on to him.


    • Thank you, Christine. I am holding on as he slips away. At times my heart aches and other times I am energized by the desire to let him fly away. I’ve been there before, losing a husband to terminal illness. When the time comes, Jesus will be there to pick up the pieces of my broken heart. Nothing is too hard for the Lord, not even collecting space junk like the residue of my exploding heart. He’ll knit it back together into something better and stronger. Blessings to you…


  9. 1959duke says:

    There is good stuff and then there is Great Stuff. This is Great Stuff!


  10. fivecats says:

    Being caregiver is not easy by any means, but you are doing well. I’m sure your “mistakes” are few. Your steadfastness and strength are certain signs that God is with you and Johannes.

    Continued prayers and blessings to you both.


    • Blessings to you, too, fivecats. Thank you for your prayers and blessings. I appreciate your encouragement. I wish my mistakes were fewER. But God is good. I keep plugging along and learning. Blessings to you…


  11. jannatwrites says:

    Beautiful poem. It is comforting that God has your husband’s soul – not Alzheimer’s. You’re still in my thoughts and prayers.


    • Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, Janna. Yes, my husband’s soul is safe, and his spirit is apparently spending time with the Lord. I refuse to think that Johannes would seem so peaceful if he were not occupied with Jesus. It disappoints me to be shut out of his awareness, but his countenance says that all is well wherever he spends his moments during this crisis. I am blessed to see in his face evidence of contentment. Blessings to you…


  12. CMSmith says:

    Very beautiful, Carol Ann, and an inspiration to the rest of us.


    • Thank you, Christine. I am blessed to care for a man whose countenance reveals that life is good, wherever it is he dwells these days. I trust that Jesus, who never leaves us nor forsakes us, is spending time with Johannes. I can’t drag him away from whatever he is up to. He lets me tend to the needs of his body, while he is absent. “Hello in there.” The answer back is only silence and twinkling blue eyes that dance to melody I cannot hear. Blessings to you…


  13. Laura Best says:

    Your poem is very touching, Carol Ann. I’m so sorry all that you are going though at this time. Yes, you are an inspiration to us all. Your love and patience for your husband is there for the rest of us to see.


    • Thank you for your kind words, Laura. I don’t write about my failures. I’m like everyone on our planet, flawed. I am forgiven and I know it, and this makes a difference.

      “Like the girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead, when she’s good she’s very good, and when she’s bad, she’s horrid.” I forget where this famous line came from. Perhaps you know. It could be said to describe the human race. My mother used to quote it to describe me.

      I write about God’s goodness, mercy, and grace. Blessings to you…


  14. Bonnie says:

    My heart bleeds for you, Carol Ann. This poem is so beautifully written and speaks volumes about how much you love your dear Johannes. Your strength is very inspirational to me, always has been. I will continue to keep you both in my prayers.


  15. Patricia says:

    Your words are beautiful and filled with wisdom.


  16. elizabethre says:

    Carol Ann, I love your poem. It touches my heart and soul. I love that you have taken a firm
    stand against Alzheimer’s and put it in its’ place. I love that you recognize the peace of God in Johannes. And I love that you are such a testament to Faith. Your poem is truly beautiful. Thank you for being such a wonderful woman of God, and for sharing your beautiful poem.


    • Thank you for comfort and cheer. Yes, Alzheimer’s needs to be put in its place. The Lord is with us always, even when we may be locked inside an ailing body. Where God is, there is beauty, hope, love, peace, and every promise waiting to be fulfilled. Blessings to you, Elizabeth…


  17. Bodhirose says:

    What a beautiful writing you have done here, Carol. Your voice sounds very sure and secure in your faith and in the belief that you and your husband are exactly where you are supposed to be–held gently in God’s protective arms.

    Thank you for sharing your strength and even your tears with us here. Blessings…



  18. Linda says:

    Tearful, beautiful, truthful…… Gods richest blessings on you today.


  19. Tammy says:

    This is a beautiful post. I wish so many others who have abandoned their patients could read it. You are a lovely person and Johannes chose wisely. Blessings and prayers to you Carol.


    • Thank you, Tammy. I appreciate your kind words. Johannes has been a wonderful husband. I am thankful to have the opportunity to show him my love. I only wish Alzheimer’s would disappear. Someday he’ll leave it behind as he soars like an eagle in the skies. We have that hope in God. Blessings to you…


  20. S Basu says:

    he will never have him. a wonderful poem full of deepest love from an angel heart. we hardly know any thing about psychological problems, so may be he is listening to you, feeling you like you are, only incapable of responsing.

    i was missing you a lot.

    take care of yourself.

    lots of love for both of you.


    • Thank you, Trisha. I appreciate your kind heart. Some days he responds and some not, but always he is safe in the Lord. I play hymns of faith on the computer on Pandora radio for him. He listens and I can see his eyes light up. Blessings to you…


  21. Such a sweet, sad poem….
    Trust in the Lord always, Carol. Rejoice in Him always. “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3)


    • Beautiful verse. Thank you for reminding me. The joy of the Lord is my strength. If I move my attention from Jesus, I fall to fatigue and worry. If I keep my eyes on high from where comes my help, I soar. Thank you, Jessie. Blessings to you…


  22. It’s good to hear these words from you and know that the knowledge of Johanne’s secure future sustains you through this difficult time.

    My father had occasional lucid times when he was able to recognize and respond to me, amid the many other times when he didn’t have a clue who I was. Even in those sad times it was a consolation to me when he got past the stage of confusion, and was unaware of his lapsing memory. He loved music — use to play melodeon and banjo before the Alzheimer’s — and, like Johannes, sometimes seemed to recognize old favourite songs.


    • I’m learning how many people are personally acquainted with Alzheimer’s. In its beginning, it seems benign; but, as time passes, the darker side of this dreaded disease appears. Yet, the Holy Spirit is always with us, even in the middle and the end of Alzheimer’s. Your description of your father says what a delightful man he was and is. I sometimes try to imagine how good life will be when we see our loved ones in their strength and beauty forever thriving and praising God. Two of my husband’s children were born with severe disabilities, blindness, heart disease, seizures, and other conditions that made their lives difficult. I imagine my Johannes on the day he is united with them. He always prayed for their healing. At last he will see the answer to his prayers. Blessings to you, Carol…


  23. lesliepaints says:

    Absolutely beautiful, Carol Ann. Your love has no boundaries. I felt this, reading your words, today, and was uplifted. Thank you.


  24. Pat Bertram says:

    I’ve been worried about you, Carol, haven’t seen you around online much. But you have a lot to deal with. Wishing you all the best. Blessings . . .


    • How nice of you to leave a comment, Pat. I miss everyone and hope to be back regularly posting and reading blogs and leaving comments. Just when I think it will happen, the time goes by and my work’s not finished. My husband is doing okay. Alzheimer’s is a dreaded disease. We are taking one day at a time. At times I feel like I’ve already lost him, but I’ll never really lose him. He’ll be waiting for me. I treasure these days, and I hate these days. Go figure. Blessings to you…


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