A Log and Clay 8


My dad is forgetting pieces of the past.      It makes me want to cry.

Day before yesterday, I went to Mom and Dad’s house to help one of my brothers repair an electrical outlet on the screen porch. When the project was finished, I asked Mom if there any other problem.


Reluctantly, she admitted a light switch required some attention. She had purchased a new switch, but when Dad couldn’t recall how to wire it, she put it in a drawer—not wanting to bother anyone. I insisted it was no bother and quickly replaced it. I told her to tell me when things need fixing, because I know Dad can no longer do household repairs.A Dad and picture 1

Whenever I stop in at their house, even after just a couple days, I see differences in my dad. He tries to tell old stories from the past, but he struggles with the details. He can no longer paint pictures and has no desire to do so. And when Dad spends fifteen minutes telling me that he takes the garden hose and waters the boundaries of their huge lot—it is his way of reporting his worth. The sprinklers won’t reach the entire fence line, so he has a very important job to do every day. Mom says he’s just watering weeds, and she’d rather they didn’t grow amongst her plants. But we both know it A Dad and Weeks picture 3doesn’t really matter what he sprinkles with the water hose. It makes him feel needed.


I know my mother is weary with the sleepless nights when Dad repeats things—which makes no sense to us—like taking all the covers and sheets off his bed. And then he stands quietly, bewildered in the dark, until Mom puts it all back together. Of course, he doesn’t remember it in the morning or he thinks someone else did it—not him.

It would be wonderful if we could always help one another and fix all the things that go wrong, whether physical or mental.

But we, who are believers in God’s mercy, know that a better time is coming. God will correct what this earthly life dumps on us. Heaven will be wonderful.

But we want it right now. We anticipate the joy of freedom—release from the limits and disappointments we face A Dad's photo of Mom 3during life.

Within Heaven’s glory, all things will be new.

My Dad won’t struggle with his memory. He won’t have that unsure little-boy expression in his blue eyes. Tears will be wiped away the moment we leave this earth and step into the presence of God.

But here on earth people cry when things affect them.

Is it shocking to say … welcome the tears? Even Jesus wept as emotions overwhelmed him. Crying helps wash away some of the pain, like a waterfall spilling over debris-hidden rocks. The rush of the water pushes against the debris and breaks it up so that the beautiful form of the mountain stream is revealed. When a person knows God, the human heart can be restored, composure returns, and courage can blossom. Hope for the future can settle into place when weeping dies away.

“God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take a new courage, for we can hold onto his promise with confidence. This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God’s inner sanctuary.” Hebrews 6: 18-19 NLT

Thank you for stopping by and reading this blog. I hope it has given you some insight and comfort as daily events knock and demand attention. Please, scroll down and leave your comments. Have you had a good cry lately? Did it help or make things worse?


 © Karen Campbell Prough 2013    

Material from this site may be reprinted or copied after receiving the written permission of the author and artist.


  • Karen, I can so relate. I just spent a week with my parents helping Mom care for Dad. Someday he’ll be dancing again, not trapped in a body that’s wracked with pain and frustrated by things he knows he used to know.

    Thank God for that watering hose and all it means to him. It’s a gift. 🙂

    • Hi Patty, thanks for replying to my blog. I am sorry about your parent’s situation, life gets tough. I’m so behind on checking email and everything else. Yesterday I spent the morning and the afternoon, after picking up all the grandkids, at Mom and Dad’s trying my best to replace the shower valves, and add handles that Mom can work with her hands. The knobs were easy for me to turn, but she doesn’t have a lot of grip in her hands anymore and turning on the shower was painful. Got it done, but had some problems tightening a couple bolts, etc. My son showed up and fixed that. So….hopefully it all worked okay this morning! 🙂 Have a blessed day my friend!

  • Oh, Karen, what a beautifully written article. It made me cry, but in a good way to see God’s grace and love flow through your words. I’m so sorry your father has dementia, but please know that God used this article to help me understand and see this affirmity in a godly way. Bless you, sweet friend.

    • Hi Cynthia. Thanks for reading this post. To strangers Dad wouldn’t seem confused. He has learned how to smile and not say too much, but when he does–he starts telling old stories that he’s told and told so many times that people can quote him. 🙂 He does good, though. Talked to Mom this morning and he was napping on the couch. Thank you for your kind words.

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