We said our last goodbyes to the good wife’s brother this week. It was a sad time but not an unexpected time. We knew it was coming.
Dementia …. alzheimers …. whatever it was — there are few things pleasant about the condition.
But let me share a kind of silver lining in the dark clouds that surrounded Albert’s last days on earth. A positive thought amidst all the sadness, all the sense of loss that came with his passing.
As his situation got progressively worse, he forgot who his wife of 54-plus years was. He referred to her as “that woman.” In the cloud that enshrouded his mind, “that woman” was nothing more than a caregiver, a hired nurse, someone to take care of him as his health deteriorated.
He knew his three sons. He knew his granddaughters. He knew his sister — the good wife Kay.
But he didn’t know his precious wife Sally. Oftentimes during the good wife’s phone calls to her last surviving brother, she would ask him how Sally was.
“Sally?” he replied with confusion in his tone. “I don’t know her.”
But, a few short days before Albert drew his last breath, the unknown Sally … “that woman” who was taking care of him …. leaned over the side of his bed and asked, “Do you know who I am?”
“Yeah,” he replied. “You’re Sally.” And he reached toward her and pulled her down close to his face to give her a kiss.
“I love you,” he told Sally a short time later.
It was kind of as if God was giving him a few brief moments of clarity after months and months of decreased mental acuity …. as if God was giving Albert’s loved ones a sense of calm … a sense of closure.
God does indeed act in mysterious ways.