A dreadful poem, attributed to the Alzheimer’s Association, is being spread across social networks in which the author laments, “The best of me is gone.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth!
For all those suffering from Alzheimer’s, the best of you lives on in your children and grandchildren. They carry with them your DNA and in many ways your personality. A lifetime of your influence, encouragement, and life lessons are not gone with your memories but live on in those you loved. The values and beliefs you modeled before your children and grandchildren also live on well beyond your years. Your encouragement lives on in your friends and coworkers. And if you were a writer, you leave a permanent record of advice, admonitions, encouragement and comfort that continues in books, magazine, websites and other writings that will be treasured by future generations. The best of you is not gone!
And for followers of Jesus suffering from Alzheimer’s, a lifetime of modeling your faith before family and friends has impacted the very kingdom of God. If you have served as a teacher, preacher, or missionary, your best lives on in the eternally-changed lives of those you served. Jesus himself awaits to greet you with, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” So, even as you are dying to this world, eternal life awaits you. You will be fully alive in perfect physical and mental health! And in heaven, the dying memories of this world will be resurrected as you reunite with family and friends who have gone before you. The best of you is just beginning as you make the transition from earthly death to eternal life!
So, please, share this with those affected by one of the worst ways to die. Assure them that the best is not gone. And for the believer, the best is yet to be.
Copyright © 2015 James N. Watkins (www.jameswatkins.com
Excerpted from If You’re Not Dead, You’re Not Done to be released from Tyndale House fall 2021.
My grandfather had “senility” (in all likelihood Alzheimer’s) and my dad was officially diagnosed with the disease. My mom as well as showed signs of cognitive decline in her later years. So, I am in no way minimizing the devastating effects of this disease where your mind dies long before your body. But my dad and mom died knowing they were “in God’s hands” and that the best was waiting for them.
Dealing with impending death
Photo: Rod Long
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