Mom continues to carry on the writing of a newsletter that her and Dad have done for almost fifty years. She mailed out the latest edition a couple weeks ago. We thought sharing a part of it here might be a good way to update you all. Thank you for your prayers.
excerpt from Exclamation!…
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us.
Spending four to five hours a day at a nursing home has given me a new perspective on life and death. Life is uncertain and fragile and death is inevitable and final! But, of course, as Christians we can experience the abundant life now and death is our ticket to a glorious eternity! Almost monthly someone, whom I pass in the hallway, has slipped into eternity. I always wonder if they knew our Saviour. I look for opportunities to offer hope to those who can still comprehend God’s gracious invitation. But I feel completely inadequate to reach a befuddled mind or a bewildered grandmother who is searching for her lost baby or a wife who can’t understand why her deceased husband doesn’t come to take her home.
Our present situation could be most depressing and dark if it were not for the sunshine of hope God send our way. Almost two years ago Art entered this place. End-stage Parkinsonism Dementia was written on his chart. Prognosis: weeks or months and then updated to long-term. We have been on a roller coaster with ups and downs, days of sleeping and not eating, then days of a measure of alert response and a big appetite, losing weight and then gaining it. I could pine away as I watch my completely dependant soul-mate slowly slip away from us. But by the grace of God we have that hope and assurance that we will count our trials all joy when we meet our Saviour!
I have tried not to ask the “why” question too often but rather “Lord, what or how?” Lord, what is your plan and purpose for this time in our lives? What are you trying to teach us and what can my family and I learn from these trials? How can I best use my time? How can I have a positive witness in this place? What do you want me to do Lord? What can I do to help Art and the other Towers residents? How can I encourage and help the Towers staff as they care for Art every day? How can I be a better advocate and caregiver?
I am writing from a darkened room where Art is napping, sound asleep. His CNA (aide) will come in soon to get him up for dinner. I will get his tray from the dining room and feed him in a quiet spot at the end of our hall. This is our time together, holding hands or stroking a stiff tense arm encouraging him to relax or sometimes it is just reminiscing or reading and praying with him. He will sometimes spontaneously start praying in a very soft voice almost inaudible to me. (But God still hears him!)
I hope I haven’t painted a dismal picture for you. I want you to know that I am so grateful for a place like this to help me care for Art when I could no longer do it at home. I feel rested and relieved from the 24/7 care I gave before. God is faithfully meeting our every need. Our daughter and family have been a great help and support. Ruthi comes to feed her Dad once or twice a week so that I can have a day to do what I need or want to do. Friends stop by often. The staff is wonderful in caring for his daily needs.
As I entered the WM Towers today my eyes focused on a large banner hanging next to the elevator. Celebrate National Nursing Home Week Have you ever said, “Don’t ever put me in one of those places!”? Have you ever thanked God for Nursing Homes? It sounds ridiculous until you really need one yourself. I am not happy that Art needs a nursing home, but I praise God for this provision! So dear ones, thank you for sharing, praying and encouraging. We are blessed with God’s faithfulness, grace and strength. But please keep lifting us up in prayer, especially dear Art. We need you and your prayers.
Rejoicing in His faithfulness,
Art & Evy Yohner
And we know that all things work together for good,
to them that love God,
to them that are the called according to his purpose.