Posted in Life as it happens.

Pearl Girls Post 3

Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother’s Day blog series – a week long
celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of
today’s best writer’s (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St.
John, and more). I hope you’ll join us each day for another unique perspective on
Mother’s Day.

AND … do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted
pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK
THIS LINK
} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/6-5/13 and the

winner will on 5/14. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In
short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in
the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering
Grit, Experiencing Grace
or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT
Mother’s Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

She’s…My
Everything by Suzanne Woods Fisher

A mother is one who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else
can take.

Just a few more months. My mother was hoping Dad would hang on long enough
so they could celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary in April. But on January
1st, as the sun rose on the new year, my dad’s worn out heart beat its last. Dad had
battled Alzheimer’s Disease for ten years. As many of you know, AD is a long, hard
journey. Hard on the one afflicted with the disease, hard on the caregivers.

But not without its blessings.

Four years ago, as I began researching stories for Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom
for a Complicated World
, my path crossed with a handful of Plain families who
were coping with Alzheimer’s. It was just about the point when Dad’s illness was
shifting from early to mid stages AD and the timing was a divine accident. I learned
so much as I observed the calm acceptance of these families. Rather than waste
time shaking a fist at God for allowing this disease to take their loved one, they put
their energy into trusting God’s sovereignty. They didn’t deny the difficulties and
complications and sadness of Alzheimer’s, but they didn’t dwell on them. “God has a
plan,” one woman told me. “He always has a plan.”

Something else I noticed was how privileged my Amish friends felt about caring
for their loved one. Caring for the elderly, they believe, is the time to give back to
them.

Those encounters shaped my perspective of Dad’s illness. I started to pay attention
to how God provided answers to new wrinkles created by Alzheimer’s, just in time.

God may be slow, but He is never late.

I started to cherish special moments or good days with Dad—just as he was at each
point in his illness. Not mourning the past, not dreading the future.

I really miss my dad. I miss his scratchy whiskers and the way his eyebrows would
wiggle at us, even as words failed him. Yet I have such peace in my heart that he was
well loved and well cared for, right to the very end. And as hard as Dad’s end of life
has been, it isn’t the end. We will meet again. As the saying goes, “Some may see a
hopeless end, but as believers we rejoice in an endless hope.”

There’s a beautiful story that illustrates my parents’ 59-year marriage. This event
happened about a year or two ago. My sister had accompanied our mother to the
doctor appointment for Dad at the Stanford Memory Clinic.

Dad had declined quite a bit that month. He was weak and lethargic, even to the
point of whispering, as if it took too much energy to project his voice. During the
doctor’s appointment, the doctor told my mother and sister that Dad was now
in late stages of Alzheimer’s. Dad didn’t have much vocabulary left, but when the
doctor asked him who mom was, he whispered something back. The doctor looked
at Mom and asked, “Did you hear what he just said?”

Mom shook her head.

“When I asked him who you were, he whispered, ‘She’s…my everything.'”

###

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a writer of bestselling fiction and non-fiction
books about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with
her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne is the host of
Amish
Wisdom
, a weekly radio program on toginet.com, and writes a bi-monthly
column for Christian Post. Suzanne can be found on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

Re-printed with
permission by Cooking & Such, http://www.sherrygorebooks.com.

Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies
and Iridescent Faith will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls Facebook
Page
(and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!

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Author:

Child of the Most High God, Wife, Home-schooling Momma of 2. I love Jesus, people and coffee. I am the somewhat eternal optimist viewing the coffee cup as half nothing, it's full...even when I'm chewing the grounds at the bottom.

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