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choir

Without getting into an exhaustive litany of character flaws hovering around the ancient yet reverenced King David, there are some pretty cool encounters that are definitely worth noting. Even though Jesse’s youngest mostly turned out to be a hot mess, he undoubtedly had some God juice on his life. David’s story begins with a season of innocence that’s quite remarkable. There are notable examples within the text that give some indication of David’s innate ability to connect with other people’s pain and plight. Although he could be a real tool in his adulthood, there are moments of his younger life that are surreal.

choirYes, he toppled giants, and tigers, and bears oh no! But, David could also bring the Lord’s presence into deafening pain. The book of Psalms is full of his music, and David’s tabernacle was the lab where most of his finer stuff was birthed, but way back before the glory days there was the soothing of Saul. Talk about a tough audience—holy shamoly! Saul had serious issues and in today’s culture he would have probably been institutionalized, overly medicated, and possibly gained great notoriety on the Jerry Springer show. He would have definitely been a candidate for seasoned psychotherapy. I bring all that up because it was Saul’s personal hell that summoned David to release his ministry. The hidden beast between Saul’s ears couldn’t be quieted any other way. David sang to his God and the effects brought tranquility and peace into Saul’s vacuum of peace.

I bring all of that up only to legitimize something I witness regularly these days. I don’t know how much personal knowledge you have about Alzheimer’s, but if it’s touched your family at any level then you have an understanding about the need for tranquility and peace. I’ve watched my girl minister to her mother over the past couple of years. Patti’s mom is a genuine sweetie and real lover, but that razor sharp mind and life skills functionality is all gone. There isn’t one detail of her life that she can manage alone anymore. So my girl, or her sisters, or Traday, dish out the daily directives that are pretty common with any toddler: “Sit here Mom,” “Yes, this is your house Mom,” “Let me help you with that mom,” “Yes, this is your house,” “Do you need to potty?” “Those are your grandchildren Mom,” “Yes, this is your house Mom,” and it pretty much cycles constantly like that unless she’s napping during the day. Her ability to call names and nouns are quickly diminishing. Yes, it’s brutal as you’re imagining.

There is a look in the eyes of an Alzheimer’s patient that will haunt you. It’s the stare of unfamiliarity. The loss of memory has to be torment. I know my own personal irritation when I can’t remember where I left my car keys. But, I can remember the first time I made love to my wife. I remember the birth of my kids and grandkids. I remember the day I graduated from college and seminary. I remember what I had for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. To lose all of that? Hell on earth.

What is fun to watch is a tactic my girl uses to reel in the mom she used to have. The morning ritual begins in front of a mirror. Although Mom rarely leaves the house anymore, my girl insists that Mom have on her makeup and that her hair be prepared for the day. Mom looks in the mirror and sees a person she no longer recognizes: herself. So that prompts a bit of personal irritation. It’s then that my girl draws out her own David. The choir cranks up,

O victory in Jesus,

My Savior, forever.

He sought me and bought me

With His redeeming blood;

He loved me ere I knew Him

And all my love is due Him,

He plunged me to victory,

Beneath the cleansing flood.

Yes, Mom used to sing in the choir at church—years and years of faithful attendance and dedicated participation. Knowing that, my girl now taps into a litany of songs and stanzas that calms the air and clears that head.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

There’s just something about that name

Master, Savior, Jesus

Like the fragrance after the rain

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

Let all heaven and earth proclaim

Kings and kingdoms shall all pass away

But there’s something about that name.

Does Mom just listen? Absolutely not! This is choir baby! She knows and sings every single word and she’s much more concerned with harmonizing her alto than anything else. It’s an amazing phenomenon to witness, and as clear as a bell Mom rings out her truths. It’s like sucking on a piece of ice in the July sun. Refreshment and memory flourish in the ancient hymns of hope. Mom reappears. All is calm. All is bright.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

Let there be choir! Sing it baby! I’m so proud of you. The days of connection are fleeing.

-MDP-

xo

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Rene Leus
    October 3, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Oh, Mike and Patti……this is so beautiful…..and it is verifiable that Our Beautiful Lord is with you. I am praying for you all. Love, love.

  2. Morman, Clark
    October 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I sent this to my siblings. We can relate; mom is not nearly advanced as Patti’s mom, but she can sing those songs and the joy fills her soul!

    I love you Mike!!

    Clark

  3. Bekah
    October 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Love!
    My Papaw had Alzheimers and I stayed with him and my grandma for a while to help her out. He died about 10 years ago now, but, I remember singing to him and with him during those times. It was priceless. Him and my grandma used to be in a traveling gospel group, so I’d sing some of those songs,that he wrote, as well as old hymns. He would pick it right up, it didn’t matter how ‘gone’ he was.
    Thanks for sharing this and bringing those memories back.

  4. mitzi
    October 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Oh how beautiful & precious this is! Thanks for sharing! Love that girl of yours!
    Praying Big for all of you!

  5. Michael Hindes
    October 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks, great story Mike. Miss Patti is special. The good kind of special though, not the kind of “special” you are…

    Love you guys.

  6. Kathy
    October 3, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    So beautiful!! So thankful for these precious times Patti, Sisters, Traday and you can spend with her and experience! Thank you Lord!! Prayers and hugs!!

  7. October 3, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    So beautiful! I remember singing hymns with the sweet lady I cared for, as well. It’s such a holy moment when she belts out the songs, how a heart of worship is etched so deeply through music, despite how the flesh may fail. 🙂 Love you guys; thinking of you and praying with you!

  8. Nicole
    October 3, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Tears… And more tears. So proud of my mom.

  9. Kayla
    October 3, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Incredible. Thanks Patti for showing us all a beautiful, vivid picture of true love, preference, sacrifice, and devotion. I remember that specific “look” in the eyes of loved ones who seem lost in some distant unfamiliar place. My Ma-B had that look. Praying for you as you walk this path with your Momma. These are sweet, treasured times that you will never regret having with her. Thanks for sharing this Mike! Love you both!

  10. Shana Conine
    October 4, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Beautiful memories for sweet Patti and her sisters. I know the days are hard and long but God is faithful for all things. My mom also could sing every word of a hymn when she couldn’t remember my name.

  11. Rose Egan
    October 4, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you Patti for your example of selfless love. Thank you Mike for acknowledging and sharing sacred moments. Thank you Jesus that you have given us all a song in our hearts that will last forever. Love you guys.

  12. Andi
    October 5, 2015 at 7:06 am

    So beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Love you two so much.

  13. October 12, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Peace is fleeting. The look from your loved ones eyes haunts you forever. I can only remember Joe’s look during our very private times. I remember the look on his face, his gentle loving manner etc. I ask a widow friend if she remembered those special private times with her husband. Her answer was: yes, those memories give me pleasure every day. Soul mates after one is gone.

  14. October 17, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Once again, your insight and breath of communication skills make me proud to know you and Patti. Grace and Peace to you both and the whole tribe…

  15. October 18, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Miss you guys and pray that you have fresh eyes to see life and beauty everyday. You guys are heroes of the day. Loving people well right where they are:)

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