Note: The authors of Helping Hands Press are hosting an Alzheimer's Disease Awareness and Care-givers Month blog tour. For this event, I am contributing this revised and abbreviated version of an earlier blog post.
While watching the amazing young athletes of the Winter Olympics last February, I enjoyed the “Thanks, Mom!” commercials in which the athletes thanked their mothers for supporting them. Moms—and Dads—do deserve a great deal of credit for encouraging (and often paying for) the success of their children, and I found those tributes heart-warming and wonderful. Who couldn’t share the excitement, relief, and pride of Meryl Davis’ and Charlie White’s mothers, cheering their ice dancing prodigies on from childhood championships to Olympic gold? I could personally relate to the tearful pride of the Olympians’ parents, as I have (proudly and tearfully) celebrated my children’s collegiate national championships in cheerleading and soccer, as well as countless games, tournaments, and competitions.
Although I continue to support my children in their endeavors, I am now also supporting my parents in theirs. Just two years ago, we had five sons living in our home and a steady stream of their friends visiting. Now with all our children—but the two youngest—happily married, we’ve entered a new season of caring for my elderly parents. Our home has rapidly gone from a youth hostel to an assisted living facility. My biblical scholar dad has a failing heart, my beautiful mom has Alzheimer’s, and I now have the role of caregiver. My mother’s decline is particularly sad and difficult to watch—especially when I owe her so much. She and my father instilled in me a love for literature, history, travel, and most importantly, the Lord. For this reason, I dedicated my first book Inklings to them. My mom has been one of my biggest cheerleaders in my writing career. As an excellent proof reader and editor, she contributed more than anyone to making certain my books were well-crafted. I’m saddened that my mother can no longer play that active role in my writing-life. Once more, however, I would like to thank her publicly for all she has done —by God’s grace —to mold me into the wife, mother, teacher, and writer I am today.