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June 27

Thursday, June 27th, 2024

All people matter to God, therefore they should matter to us.

Lately I’ve been reading a book on dementia entitled  Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia by John Dunlop, MD. Because it seems to be becoming a bigger issue these days, I thought I’d read up on it and learn more. It has been an eye-opening book (in a good way). Over and over Dr Dunlop has emphasized the importance of dignity for the dementia sufferer, as well as it’s kissing cousin, Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Dunlop is a committed Christ-follower so his perspective is different than many in the medical field. Instead of writing them off as a “nuisance” and a “bother” for others, especially their caregivers, he pushes the belief that showing them dignity is first and foremost. One very helpful section is found on pages 123-125 where he gives a number of practical way we can express dignity. He does it from the perspective of entering their “world.”

But this devotion is not a book review. While he has obviously focused his attention on the dementia patient, I couldn’t help but make the correlation to others in our sphere on influence. Each person we come in contact with should be deemed a person who matters. Whether it is the same sex, ethnicity, color, position in life, or social status, we need to, no, we must see them as people who hold special importance in God’s eye. As a Christ-follower that means they must hold importance in my eyes as well. We may not always agree, we may not always get along, we may butt heads from time to time, but that should not change how much each of us should matter.

In James 2 James warns the church about choosing sides and showing preference to one group over another. He says it is a shame and a black mark to do so (my loose translation). Jesus Himself told the parable of the Good Samaritan and showed how a man who was hated because of his ethnicity was actually more of a brother than the so-called “religious people.”

We have all seen people snubbed because of political affiliation. We have all seen people snubbed because of color. We have all seen people snubbed because of sexual orientation. We have all seen people snubbed because of status. We have all seen people snubbed because of a medical condition. It is ugly. Like I said, I may not agree with someone’s opinion or lifestyle, and can’t compromise the truth, but at the same time that gives me NO RIGHT to denigrate or write someone off as being persona non grata because we are different.

Dementia patients deserve loving treatment. We all do. Let’s begin to give dignity to others. Let’s begin to treat others as we would like to be treated. 

December 4

Monday, December 4th, 2023

As you may know, we buried my sister-in-law last Thursday.  (Thanks for your prayers. We traveled over 700+ miles in less than 4 days).  For the past 4 years she has been a resident of Parkvue Care Center in Sandusky, OH. (Jo & I give them 100%-and if possible higher for the job they have done in taking care of Vicki). Her battle with diabetes gave us no option but to get her into a place that could take care of her. We offered to bring her to Indiana with us but she refused (“This is my home and my friends”), so we accommodated her wishes. For the first two years, she thrived. She participated; her naturally shy personality became outgoing; she made friends; she laughed; did wheelchair exercises; went on treks with the residents; and adjusted well to three meals and regular meds.

But another disease was lurking and eventually pounced. Diabetes led to dialysis, but the one that pounced was dementia, which eventually because full-bore Alzheimer’s. The last couple of times we were there she did not know me or Jo at all. She held out knowing Jo a bit longer until she was too enveloped in the cloud of lost memory.

It is heart-breaking to see people you know and love get lost in a world neither they, nor you, understand. Once sharp minds cannot even remember how to put shoes on or how to button a blouse, or worse, their own name. Communication is a lost art as they become swallowed up in a cloud of fog. One of our last memories of our last visit was her refusal to get out of her wheelchair to stand in order to be transported. “NO!” was her answer. My last memory was going back into her room before we left, “waking her” from her peaceful sleep, and saying, “Vicki, I want you to know that Jo and I love you and I’m glad you were sister-in-law.” I saw a slight smile hit her lips followed by some incoherent words. I’m clueless on what she said but I do believe she heard me.

She is now with Jesus, reunited with her mother and father (whom she really missed) and others from the church she attended who preceded her. Death for the follower of Jesus is never the end. It’s just the beginning of a whole new life that goes on forever.

And her memory is perfect.


I review a book called Memorable Loss by Karen Martin on my other site- Cycleguy’s Spin. Please head over their for a review on a very good book on Alzheimer’s.