December 25th ~
It's Christmas morning. I have been sitting at my desk for the past hour with not a sound to be heard. Not a car, not a dog, not a single sound. I'm sure it's like this most other Christmas mornings, but I was too busy to notice. This Christmas the silence is deafening. This Christmas has forced me to be quiet and meditate on the the birth of Jesus through different eyes. Which is the title of my husband Randy's Christmas CD that he recorded several years ago. God has used those songs and lyrics to minister to me this year as never before. Randy has not sung those songs in two years. He had an annual Christmas concert for 20 years and for many it was the start of their Christmas season. It was always scheduled the first weekend in December and always put everyone is the Christmas spirit. He had his last one two years ago. Well, this year dear friends took us on a road trip up north to Flagstaff and Snow Bowl, and down through Sedona for my birthday. We had not been out of the city in a year and a half. Best birthday gift ever. Randy was a wonderful traveler and we had the best day. We headed back to Phoenix with a grateful heart. But then it was about to get even better. We put on Randy's Christmas CD... and witnessed a Christmas miracle. Randy began to sing along to the CD and we were awestruck. He sounded better than ever... and I seriously cried through every song. I managed to record the blessed event on my cell phone in which I will cherish forever.
Needless to say we have been listening to his CD every morning on the way to his Adult Day Care facility. And more often than not he starts singing along. What a sweet way to begin my work day.
And then last night we spent Christmas Eve with our children at my daughter Miranda & Aaron's home. In the midst of opening presents we heard a knock at the door and opened it to a porch filled with dear friends who had come caroling. I can't even begin to tell you how blessed we were to witness such love. We were all crying when I turned around and heard Randy singing Silent Night with his eyes closed and his hands lifted in worship. I could hardly sing after that. Oh Jesus, thank You for your faithfulness.
Christmas Day was bitter sweet. We were alone till we went and visited his Mom for an hour in the afternoon. Randy literally read non-stop from the time he awoke till we left. He barely acknowledged Christmas. This is a man that loves Christmas more than anyone I have ever known. It's heartbreaking. He finally opened my present to him in the afternoon. A pair of slippers that he put on right away. And then like clockwork, just before bedtime, he starts asking to drive the van to Home Depot, to the Mall, to get a Coke, etc. When I remind him that he can't drive, he will then ask me to drive him. It goes on for a half hour or so, and then he goes to bed. He's never angry or frustrated, just obsessive about wanting to go somewhere.
December 26th ~
I woke up this morning and once again asked the Lord for strength and patience and love... for today. I can't think about tomorrow. It will come soon enough. All I have is today. Tomorrow could very well bring more changes to my husband, and more heartache, more loss. Yes, Frontotemporal Dementia has a way of rearing it's ugly head just when you've managed to adjust to the present changes. I am powerless to do a thing, but I do have the power of Christ in me to give me what I need at any given moment. I will choose to cling to that today... and somehow find joy in this journey.