Alzheimer’s Disease – The Last Mile of the Way – May It Bring Blessing for My Husband and Me

Learning to deal with my husband’s Alzheimer’s disease is an ongoing challenge. My prayer for him is that he will not suffer pain or anxiety during this last chapter of his life. God will honor that prayer and grant it as long as it serves my husband well. We don’t always understand the purpose behind suffering. Yet, I see my prayer being answered, and I’m grateful for that.

When I think that I understand the progression of Alzheimer’s in my husband’s life, the circumstances change. When I think he is dangling at death’s door, he rallies and regains what I assumed was lost ground. I rejoice only to find that those gains were temporary. Although his condition gets better and worsens, the general trend continues in one direction, toward his homecoming, or his home-going from my perspective. The phrase from our wedding vows, until death parts us, has become a reminder of that non-negotiable separation date approaching, an event that affects both of us.

I am grateful not only for my salvation and ultimate eternal heavenly future, but also for the presence of Jesus in my life. Without Him, I’d not recover from such a loss. With Him, I will. Without Him, I’d fear for my own future and for my husband’s eternity. Because of Him, I won’t. Two paths diverged in a yellow wood. Most of us recognize the first line of Robert Frost’s famous poem. And the last: And that made all the difference. For me, the road less traveled, my journey with Jesus, although rough under the feet from time to time, sparkled with sunbeams and starlight that grew brighter and brighter along the way. His face I see more plainly as I travel, and it holds my gaze for the journey ahead.


Romans 8:26-31 – The Bible (KJV) – Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Ephesians 5:20 – The Bible (KJV) – Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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28 Responses to Alzheimer’s Disease – The Last Mile of the Way – May It Bring Blessing for My Husband and Me

  1. elizabeth says:

    Beautifully said Carol. This is especially encouraging: ‘His face I see more plainly as I travel, and it holds my gaze for the journey ahead.’ My mother has times when she rallies and we get all excited, but then are sad when she loses even more later. ((Hugs))


    • Yes, the tug of war between life and death is heartbreaking to endure, but we have hope that will blossom into reality someday beyond the blue. In the gap, we hold close to Jesus. Blessings to you, Elizabeth…


  2. fivecats says:

    Beautifully written.

    Your journey reminds us of the journey we all have taken, or will take. With Jesus, the path is made easier. Without Jesus, goodness knows how difficult and how insurmountable the path would be.

    May your blessings continue to be bountiful.


    • Thank you, fivecats. I appreciate your comment. The closer we get to glory, the steeper the climb; yet, we are borne on angel’s wings, and we know we will safely reach our destination. Jesus is LORD! Blessings to you…


  3. Bonnie says:

    I think of you often, Carol Ann, and am thankful Jesus is there to hold both your hands along the way. Blessings to you both, always.


  4. Just to let you know that you are both daily in my prayers. It’s OK to be disheartened at times – God won’t let you stay there long,as you know. I do hope you are caring for yourself, too.

    I am reminded of Mary Magdalene as she walked to the tomb that Easter morn. She must have thought of all those times she walked the hillsides with Jesus. Wasn’t she in for a grand surprise? We never know what is at the end of the walk, we just know we’ll meet the Lord there, whatever is there, and wherever it is!

    Peace, Rest, Hope, Joy, Love, and enough. . .


  5. Cristine Grote blog has written extensively on this subject.


    • Yes, Christine’s blog is one of my favorites. I try not to miss a post. I do miss some, but I miss some of everyone’s posts when duty calls me from my computer. Blessings to you, Carl…


  6. Laura Best says:

    What would we do without faith, Carol Ann? I really don’t want to think of it. You are such an encouragement for the rest of us. You always give a positive message in the midst of your own challenges.


    • Thank you, Laura. I agree that without faith life would be unattractive and even scary. Jesus is Lord. He is the sunlight of morning and the shadow of evening. He is the best life has to offer. He IS life. I realize this more as the days fly by. And He is so good that we can be confident that there is nothing to fear. Our God is so BIG, so STRONG, and so MIGHTY! There’s nothing our God cannot do! I used to sing that with very young children for many years. They believed it without batting an eye, and so did I. Blessings to you…


  7. Patricia says:

    Your journey encourages me. Thank you for sharing your love of Jesus.


  8. jacsprat says:

    I’m praying for you both! Thank you for sharing your walk along the less traveled path of faithfulness and trust.


  9. jannatwrites says:

    The roller coaster of hope sliding into reality can be exhausting. I admire your strength and pray God continues to comfort you during this difficult process.


  10. pattisj says:

    This is beautifully written, Carol Ann, your inner beauty shining through your writing.
    Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
    Man never Is, but always To be blest:
    The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
    Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
    – Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man


  11. you are so right, he is relieved from the pain, painful memories of his last days on earth. In a way its a blessing disguised as a curse to the people who love him.

    may God fill up your heart with courage and love.


  12. Carol says:

    Oh, the truth of 1 Corinthians 13:12 — For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. We don’t understand the why of today’s difficulties, but we can carry on into our tomorrows because of our faith and trust in God’s goodness. My prayers continue for you and your husband.


    • Thank you, Carol. I appreciate your prayers very much. Trusting Jesus is all I can do; and, trusting Him is all I need to do. I am confident that my needs will be met when the time comes. God has always found a way to provide bountifully for me. He will comfort me in my loss when it happens, even though the thought of it seems unbearable. When the time comes, grace for the moments will come, too. I don’t have to understand, but I’d like to understand. It is encouraging that someday, according to the Bible verse you quoted, we will understand.


  13. I think you will find post of Judith Baxter at ” I will choose how I live the rest of my life” 4/17/12 very meaningful re Jane.


  14. CMSmith says:

    May you walk this last mile downhill with the wind at your back.


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