Saturday, July 14, 2018

Dementia/ Memory Care

My husband Randy will be placed in a Memory Care facility in Gilbert, AZ Thursday, July 19th. 

I could never have imagined typing those words. Even though I know it's time, I am heartbroken. And trusting God with every breath I take.

I remember reading that grieving your loved one’s initial diagnosis, their placement in a facility, and their actual death are very much the same. And they are right. 

Needless to say, Randy & I need your prayers now more than ever ~

~ that Randy would adjust to his new surroundings as best as can be expected
~ that he would feel God’s love, peace and presence
~ that he would know my overwhelming love for him
~ that he would thrive
~ that he would be their favorite

My dear friends Ralph and Linda (the other Linda Larson) arrived July 6th to be here for Randy & I as we transition. They insisted on staying a couple weeks after Randy is placed so as to be here for me. As the days and weeks draw near, I am more and more aware that was a good call and a precious gift from God.

Please pray ~

~ that I would trust the Lord, rest in the Lord and be strong and courageous
~ that He would protect me from the enemy's lies
~ for my health... as anxiety and stress have taken a toll
~ that I would savor the sweet moments, rather than fear the future
~ that I would sense God’s presence as never before
~ that ALTCS (AZ Long Term Care) would be approved in a timely manner

Thanking God ~

~ that his memory care facility is only 2 minutes from my job in Gilbert
~ that I can visit him every day after work
~ that Scott Fisher @ Foundation for Senior Living recommended this facility, not even knowing it’s proximity to my work
~ for my amazing team that has walked with me every step of the way 
~ my elder law attorney Emily Taylor and her assistant Jessica 
~ my dear friend and financial planner Joe Scheid
~ my son-in-law Aaron for his wisdom, counsel and compassion 
~ for dear friends near and far that have visited, called, text and emailed me words of encouragement, affirmation and Truth. I can’t tell you how many times fear and anxiety overwhelmed me to the core... thinking I could not do this another day… and I would get a call or text. They had no idea... but God did.

And finally, I thank God for everything. And I mean everything. I don’t understand everything, but I can truly thank Him. I am trusting God’s love for me, His character, His faithfulness, His ever present help in times of trouble. He is transforming me. He is fighting for me. He is the strength of my heart. And my portion forever. He allowed this. He is using it. He is all I need. He is enough.

And I am so thankful God continues to use Randy’s music and lyrics. I get monthly emails, CD orders and testimonials from people all around the country. And most of them had no idea about Randy's diagnosis until I linked them to his story on my blog. Their heartfelt stories are a powerful testament of Christ in Randy, his calling, faithfulness and humble service in sharing the death, resurrection and love of Jesus.

Randy always said at every concert ~ 

“We are aliens and strangers. This is not our home. I long for the day when I can stand before Jesus and hear Him say “Well done good and faithful servant”.” 

I long for that day too. 

Oh how I miss my husband. My friend. My helpmate. My truth teller. The love of my life. 

However will I do this life without him by my side?

You can read his Frontotemporal dementia story HERE.


Mary and John Moore said...

I'm in tears reading this. Knowing God has been with you and Randy through this season of your life. I will keep you and Randy in my prayers. Randy had a huge impact in our lives through his music. He still continues to bless us with his songs. Thank you God for ODF and our worship leader. His music will always talk to our hearts. Thank you Linda for taking us on your journey. You let us know what you feel, need and how we can help. Love you and so glad to call you my friend and my sister in Christ.

Unknown said...

I've been in your shoes and can testify that it is without doubt a most difficult decision. When I placed Jay the staff told me not to visit for a week or two to allow both of us to adjust. I pray that Randy will do well. I visited daily and Jay never once asked about going home, so I knew the timing was right. God is with you, dear Linda, and we will be upholding you both in prayer.

deb said...

I've been following you for years (before the diagnosis) and although I know this is difficult for you, I know it's the right thing to do. You have been SO faithful through this journey, you need respite now.

deborah Wehunt said...

Thankyou for sharing . Through your emotions you wrote a concise, heart breaking, beautiful letter. Joe and I will pray, (and writing the specifics is perfect}. as it tells us what is needed. I really appreciate your talent with "writing" and expressing yourself, because you inspire me with your words to depend on God moment by moment, and keep the mind clear as much as possible. Your writing has triggered so many people to share their hearts too.
As people reach out with words of love and wisdom to you , YOU are helping us out in so many ways, and there are no words for that.

Nancy Roberts said...

Linda, weve been following your sharing about Randy since this all started. We all have so many great memories of being together in music ministry for years, lots of laughs, and great friendships. Never thinking about getting old back then. You have been and continue to be an example of enduring strength and love, and also your sense of humor, through this time. Randys music is still, and will always be some of the most well written, convicting, uplifting, and beautiful music ever written. Every time you shared a picture of him with his guitar, it was so cool to see him smile! Praying for you as you go through this transition with Randy.

Anonymous said...

prayers for you both

Anita Diaz said...

I wish I had words that would comfort, but I cannot express what my heart would want to say. I can't imagine what you are going through, but you must be so grounded in faith and trust to be such an example to the rest of us. Prayers for you and Randy through this transition and hoping for peace and comfort for you.

Carolyn Montello said...

Praying for you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I have a verse for you that is my go to verse when I am anxious. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand...
Love from your Sister in Christ, Carolyn Montello

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family.

Unknown said...

Linda, John and I have been following you and Randy's journey through your posts, when I see them, and from what Denny tells us. You're posts are such a testimony to God's great love for us and an encouragement to what faithfulness and trust in Him really means. Praying for you, Randy and your family as you move in to this next phase of life. Remembering what an amazing blessing and impact Randy and his music has had in our life and the life of so many people. Linda, he sang at our wedding, as he did at so many, sweet memory. Love you both! John and Patrese Collins.

Pauline Bracken said...

Dearest Linda: I have been following your story since Dave Schenck told me of Randy's dementia . You are God's bravest soldier even though a wounded warrior, too, I know. I cared for my mom's husband for a year until we placed him in memory care, he had the more common senile dementia. But like most families we waited too long. He died in late 2014, Ive been caring for my mom since then, she is now near death , in a group home, at age 89. I hear myself singing Randy's songs and I have asked God why also, we have so much to surrender to Him until that day . . . Jesus provided one million tender mercies and continues to do so , I know He will for you also. Praying for you and your family . I am strengthened by knowing your testimony as I'm sure so many others are.

Michele said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Our dad , Jim Hayes, is placed in the same facility and we see Randy several times a week. Our dad woke up June 5th 2017 at the age of 82 wth no memory. It literally happened overnight. There was no time to adjust to the horrible disease that robbed him of his memories- not that it makes it any easier. He was working, driving, doing wood working and enjoying life on June 4th :(. Countless doctors, tests and appointments- but no one has been able to figure out why, only God knows. And we Thank God everyday that our dad still knows his children, his grandchildren and his friends. A year later and my sister and I are still adjusting to our new "normal". She was up visiting our dad tonight and was reading Randy's story outside his door. When she went home she looked him up and then shared this site with me. We are there 3-4 nights a week. We will keep an eye out for Randy and keep you all in out thoughts and prayers.

Elisa Bosley said...

Dear Linda -- I am so touched by your and Randy's love story. I think I commented on your blog a few years ago when I first heard that Randy had dementia; his music was a huge influence on me (way back to Open Door concerts!) and later on my husband. We still listen to his music and it brings tears to our eyes.
By the Lord's grace, I'm now a chaplain with a special calling to serve elders and others with dementia. In case it serves you and Randy, please check out my free recordings (made with professional musicians) of classic hymns and spirituals specifically arranged as easy sing-alongs for those with dementia:
You and Randy are in my prayers today. Know that God sees your tears and adds his own, even as he sustains you.