Lately, life has felt heavy-hearted, sad, melancholy, just a bit depressing. With a diagnosis of Parkinson’s for my brother-in-law, I have watched with compassion as my husband has dealt with losing a part of his brother he never expected to lose. You see his brother’s Parkinson’s has dealt a powerful blow. Although not experiencing tremors, Bob’s brother has experienced sudden onset of dementia, forgetting how to do all the things he loves — reading is difficult, writing poetry a non-event now, the computer is strange to him, words don’t come easily to this man who is/was a masterful wordsmith, his gifts of music are no longer heard.
We’re traveling to their once a month to help our sister-in-law experience some rest and a respite from her daily caregiver responsibilities. And when we return home from this 5-hour trip, our hearts are breaking and heavy. We can’t fix this problem, and we can’t make it even a bit better.
And yet we find ourselves compelled by 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks for abundant gifts while we’ve shared time with our brother and his wife. Thanks are given for so many things that I think I’ll list them here as I continue to count 1000 gifts with Ann Voskamp:
308. Hearing Jim (our brother) laugh while he listens to our favorite family stories.
309. Jim’s joy at hearing music played.
310. Celebrating Jim’s success when he finally puts together something he wants to say.
311. Helen’s love for Jim.
312. Helen’s ability to stay calm in most situations while she cares for Him.
313. Our ability to travel and be with them and help in any way we can.
314. God’s Word which continues to guide us daily.
315. Paul’s writings in 1 Thessalonians.
316. My continued and amazing recovery following spine surgery.
317. Husband Bob’s amazingly large heart for his brother.
318. Grace in abundance in our lives as we do what we can.
319. Support of our own local Parkinson’s Foundation office to help educate us on our role in this family situation.
320. Ann Voskamp for setting me on the road to seeing the many gifts in my world.
Linking up with Ann over at A Holy Experience. Won’t you come and join us?