Alzheimer's Memoirs Parkinson's Disease

January the Bleak

I’m not going to blame January for my bleakness, but my present is bleak and it is January. Hubby passed away on the 16th, just after our 41st anniversary on the 12th and my birthday on the 6th. His suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is over, and his passing was peaceful, and for that I am thankful. I’m quite positive he is with the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven, and for that I rejoice.

Jimmy Leon Coker

However, all that doesn’t make the quietness of the house any louder, the days any busier, the nights any cozier. It’s just me and Stella the dog rattling around this old house now. I am grateful that it’s only 1600 square feet and not 6000.

I don’t have to figure out what to fix for supper and I don’t have to defer to his television choices. I don’t have to do his laundry and I don’t have to clean up his messes. I can vacuum the floors any time I want to without worrying about disturbing him. I can leave the house and not worry about getting home because he needs me. I can eat and sleep whenever I want. This is all because I am alone.


People ask me how I’m doing. I think I’m okay right now. I’ve always said I would be fine alone. I’m an independent person. Will I feel the same way next week? Next month? Next year?

The great hunter

Only God knows what happens next. He knew my fears about not being able to care for Jimmy or afford to pay for care, and that I wouldn’t have to worry about that very long. He knows what tomorrow and the next day and the next year will bring. I trust Him to bring it to pass. I choose not to worry about it. I’m really not alone. He is here with me.

What will I do? I will continue planning Jimmy’s memorial service. I will continue making phone calls to insurance companies, government agencies, and the rest. I will treasure the memories I have of our life together, and I will spend every minute I can with my children and grandchildren. I will thank God every day for blessing me with 41 years with a loyal, devoted, loving man, husband, and father. And I will miss him every minute of every day.


A rare snow on our East Texas property just a couple of weeks ago.

It’s Christmas Eve and It’s a Wonderful Life

The gifts are wrapped–all nine million of them–and I am finally sitting in my chair taking in my favorite all-time Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Nine million gifts may be an exaggeration, but I know that I wrapped at least twenty or thirty per day since December 1, so what is that, about 400 or 500?  And my fingers aren’t even bleeding!  I will be blogging about the adventures of gift wrapping in days to come, but I wanted to just reflect on the season a bit and wish my readers a merry Christmas and a very happy new year.
Don’t you love the scene in the movie when the gym floor opens during the dance and everyone dives into the pool below?  What a great idea!  I wonder if school gyms have pools under them any more?
Sitting here in my pajamas in front of a fire and enjoying HD TV with my doggies, I just don’t think it gets any better than this.  My grown children are away at family gatherings of the spouse kind, and my husband is working at the zoo–animals don’t take holidays.  They must be fed, watered, and cleaned up after every day of the year, regardless of the calendar.  But I don’t mind being alone.
My home is cozy, the lights are pretty, the fire is warm, and the television picture is clear.  My Lord is in Heaven still in control of His creation and still reminding us of the greatest gift of His own Son who gave His life to save us from our sins.
Thank you, Father, for not giving up on us and for still loving us in spite of our selfishness and greed.  I pray that the hustle and bustle of holiday consumerism does not overshadow the real importance of this season.  Jesus may not have been born on December 25 but at least we have set aside this day to remember His birth and what it means.
I urge you to take the time to reflect on our Saviour and His great gift as you reunite with friends and family this week.
“May your days be merry and bright
and may all your Christmases be white.”

AT HOME MONDAY: To the East Coast from a Southerner

Today was not a good day for those on the East Coast of the U.S.A.  Tomorrow may be even worse farther inland.  Hurricane Sandy wobbled into our homeland today, and she did it with a vengeance.  Not only that, she chose the most heavily populated region of the country to make her appearance.  The cities along our Eastern shore are even collectively called Megalopolis because it is like one huge city, especially if you see the lights of our Atlantic shore from space.

The images on TV don’t begin to explain the devastation that is being felt.  As cameras record the collapse of homes, roads, businesses, and beaches, I wonder about the people whose lives are represented by those properties.  For many who evacuated as advised, there will be no home to return to, no work to report to, no road to drive, no “same old same old” to resume.

I guess my message is this, and it is to myself more than anyone who might be reading this:  when I complain because my floor coverings need replacing I need to remember that at least my floors are not covered with three feet (or more!) of filthy water.  When I complain about my raggedy furniture I need to remember that at least it is still dry and comfy.  When I dread cleaning my house I should remember that at least I have a house to clean.  And when I complain about the endless little things that irritate or annoy or require something of me, I should remember that I have a warm home, a car to drive, clean water to drink, and grocery stores with full shelves.  

We have so much to be thankful for.  And not that we should be boastful, but that we should be deeply grateful for what God has given us today, for the blessings we have today, because we don’t know what may come tomorrow.  We don’t know when our homes might be washed away, when our food and water may run out, when illness or death may greet us.  These thoughts would be scary indeed if we didn’t know the One who promised to be with us “always, even unto the end of the world.”  (Matthew 28:20)

So, I would say to those along the East Coast who are facing loss, injury, and devastation:  turn to the One who gave you all that you have.  He will see you through.