A Precious Mind

I have been married to Joanne for 48 years. I don’t think she has ever had an enemy in her life, and I have never seen a mean bone in her body. Her discerning spirit was known in our ministry, which was a tremendous gift to me. Joanne was a prolific reader, and would devour two or more books a week. She never intentionally did research for me, but many times I heard her say, “You might be interested in this,” and I was. She was my editor for numerous college papers, two master’s theses, and two doctoral dissertations, and sixty books. Her university degree was in home economics and foods, but her major should have been English literature.

She is still my life mate, but I miss her. I visit her every day in an assisted living facility. Joanne has agitated dementia, and she can’t read any more or carry on a meaningful conversation. Several months ago she started calling me “daddy.” She doesn’t care to talk to friends and not even family. I am the only one she trusts and wants to talk to, but we don’t talk much. She is relieved to see me when I come by, and then she silently reclines in her bed. I sit there for a while – in silence. I’m thankful for my own mental peace during those times, and for the good years we have had together.

The mind is a precious thing, but it needs a healthy brain. When the brain begins to shrink, the mind becomes incapacitated. Joanne had programmed her mind well, which is why in its limited capacity there is no meanness toward me and others, and why her most consistent request is for me to pray for her. I usually just ask God to give her peace, and to guard her heart and her mind. The apostle’s words are meaningful to me, and I hope they are to you. “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love coves over a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:7,8).

Dr. Neil

For Spanish, see http://www.ficmm.org/blog