parkinsons, dementia, mentally challenged
The church was packed, as I knew it would be. Everyone that doesn’t go to church on a regular basis always goes at Easter and Christmas. I am not judging, because, number one, who am I to judge, and number 2, it may be that one time, that those people hear the right words, that changes their lives forever. We left fairly early, wanting to get a handicapped parking spot, but even leaving early, we were forced to park quite a ways from the front doors. We walked in and two people said hi, one a greeter at the door, plus a stranger reaching out. We sat towards the back as we usually do, because my brother has to always use the restroom at church, even though he uses the restroom at home before we leave, he has an enlarged prostate. We sat in our regular seats, and I watched all the people walking by us to find their seats, some pausing to glance and wonder why there was a walker in the aisle. I did have it to one side, which left plenty of room, but still, it was not a regular thing to see a walker in the isle. Because it was Easter, there was plenty of uplifting songs sung by all and specials sung by the choir. I would glance over at my brother, and notice that he was leaning pretty far to the side. I didn’t want to humiliate him, by helping him to sit up straighter so he wouldn’t fall completely over, but yet, we were at church, and I didn’t want to cause a scene with him there, so I just kept my eye on him. He rubbed his hands, his forehead, scratched his head a lot. Several nervous habits he has. The sermon was fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a more heart-felt sermon. I had goose bumps several times from the words I was hearing. Next came the final song, a call to anyone who may want to step forward and accept Christ. Then, it was over. People walking by me, no one saying anything. We wait our turn to stand, since we had the walker, we didn’t want to hold anyone up in line. I stood up, and then my brother stood up, and collapsed into the chair behind him. He had lost his balance. Without thinking of where we were, I said to him, hang on to the chair for support buddy boy. That will help you until you can get to your walker. Mad, he got so mad at me. By this time, we were half way into the isle. He is standing there with voice raised, asking me” what did I do wrong?” I explained in a soft-spoken voice that I was just reminding him to use support so he would not fall and become injured. He started crying. Big, sobbing tears along with a raised voice stating he didn’t need support. I wanted to hide somewhere, but where? I was in God’s house, the best place I could be. A gentleman came up behind us, next a lady in a wheel chair, then a line of people from the front pews. They just looked at us and said nothing. I knew they were just waiting and watching to see what was going to happen next, and some, I am sure, were wanting to leave. I heard one of them mention they were supposed to be at family’s home for Easter dinner in half an hour. I tugged at my brother’s shirt and said let’s go. He remained cemented in his spot, still crying, still yelling. No one came to my rescue. It was my job to get us out-of-the-way. I finally took a hold of his shirt and pulled him towards the back doors. He is saying let me go, let loose of my clothes. This was my experience in church today. I always wonder why God allows my brother to suffer like he does. I pray constantly that God will bring him some inner peace while he is going through this. I love my brother very much, but I curse Parkinson’s and Dementia. I am not as strong as some, and I want to blame someone for this disease, but I have no one to blame. When my brother gets to heaven, I want to see him there with huge smiles on his face. I want him to know who I am. I want to see him walk, without the use of his wheel chair, cane and walker. I wish nothing but peace for him and no more pain
I was a brat when I was young. I was jealous of a baby sister that was born ten years after my birthday. I did everything to make my parents miserable, that a ten-year old can think of. At the ripe age of 11, I went to church camp for the second year in a row. I was more looking forward to making new friends, swimming, visiting the candy store on grounds, and looking at cute boys. We were to get up very early each morning and have vespers at the water front. I would gaze out at the water, watching the steam rise. I can still see it in my head today, how beautiful and graceful the steam would look, casting its own reflections back on the waters. Light ripples of water splashing on the lands edges. I would glance around at who was sitting around me. New friends I had made instantly, who were my bunkies were sitting next to me. We passed notes about this or that, and asked each other who we thought was the cutest boy there this year. After vespers were over we would go to the big canteen and have scrambled eggs, sausages, and toast, milk, and juice. After breakfast, we had some time to go back to our dorms, and make our beds, and straighten our rooms up. Write letters to our parents, telling them of our fun we were having and how much we missed them. The week flew by. We all enjoyed craft making, many good meals, lots of swimming, bible studies, and wonderful camp fires before bed. Bed was at ten o’clock, and lights had to be out no later than ten thirty, or else! On Saturday night, all went as usual, except there was a sadness mixed in with our smiles, because this was our last day, and last night with our new-found friends. Our last supper being over, we each spent time packing up what we could. Digging underneath each others beds for lost socks, and any other small items we couldn’t find. I actually lost my mouth retainer, that my parents had just gotten me a couple of weeks before camp. I dreaded telling them the bad news, because I knew it cost them a lot of money, and they would never understand why I didn’t really want to wear it around my new friends. After clean up was done, we all went to the camp fire for the last time. It was a big group of us kids and all of the counselors. There were different messages from the grown ups about how much fun they had had with us this year, and how they were going to miss us, and how they were already looking forward to next years camp. Things got a little more serious than. Music was being played by different people who had guitars, and singing started. Slowly, the quietness of our voices became one in unison and we were all singing, and I could see tears falling from different kids who were having different emotions from the music, and leaving camp. Music stopped about twenty minutes later,and all got still. The leader of the camp stood up in front of all of us, and he talked about all the fun we had had, and the reason we were really there. To learn about Jesus, and the wonderful things he had done for each and every one of us. How he died on the cross to save our sins. That no matter what we had done or thought in our young lives, we were loved and forgiven, if we only invited Jesus into our hearts and lives to live with us. I was listening intently, for I knew I was a brat. I suddenly felt a heat come over me. It started in my legs and moved up my whole body. My fingers were shaking as I stood there trying to stay in my place. I felt this nudging inside of me as I heard the minister tell all of us, that if we wanted to come forward, and give our lives to Christ, feel free to step up. Do not be shy or afraid, just come up here and I will pray with you. I fought it. I really did. I wasn’t going up there in front of all these kids, but the warmth flowed through me, and the nudging became so strong, that before I could stop it, I was watching myself leave my seat, and walk up to where he was standing. All was a blur, as I didn’t notice any kids on my way. When I arrived to where he was standing, my face was hot and tears were strolling down my face. My body was trembling and I found it difficult to stand straight. He came over to me, and took my hand and held it in his. I heard my voice softly saying, I want Jesus to live in my heart and be with me forever. We knelt down,the two of us, and he prayed for me as I began sobbing and shaking my head up and down to the questions he was asking.