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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Funny (10/04/12)

TITLE: The Sting is Taken Away
By Jana Kelley


Funny how she holds an imaginary notebook in one hand and motions for silence with the other.

She is lying in bed with the covers pulled around her. Her head rests on the pillows that I fluffed and arranged for her before she went to sleep. No one else is in the room. Her hair is brushed and her curls lie softly against her head. Her face is washed and her nightgown is fresh and clean. Her glasses are on the nightstand and the lamp is turned off.

Funny how she is still talking in the dark.

She calls the meeting to order and asks each Sunday School teacher to give a report. She stops every few minutes to pray for a sick child, a lady who has been absent for several weeks, a teacher who is struggling with how to guide his or her Sunday School class. She claps and laughs in delight when one of her imaginary teachers gives a report of a new Sunday School member or a testimony of salvation.

Funny how she remembers all their names but she doesnít remember mine.

I sit in the den on her recliner and read a book. It is going to be a long night. I canít sleep while she is holding her Sunday School Teacherís meeting in her room. She is loud and her creaky voice never stops. She leads a song to close the meeting and then starts up a new one. She calls role, she asks for reports...again.

Funny how I thought I could handle this. But now I donít think I can.

Dementia is like this, they say. And I donít think I can stand to watch this horrible sickness take her away. Why, O Lord? I look at the book in my lap. I canít read it. I canít pay attention to the happy-go-lucky story in a cheap novel while my mother is encouraging the invisible teachers to never give up on their students.

Church was my motherís life. She loved the members of her church, even the hard to love ones. She taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training. She volunteered in the library and always gave sacrificially when a missionary came to speak. But thatís not all. Mother studied Godís Word every day and she could quote large portions of Scripture without even stopping to think. And then I stop and pay attention to what she is really saying...

Funny how the Lord speaks to me through my motherís dementia.

Mother is not losing her life to dementia. She is glorifying God in the midst of it. With her words, she is speaking back to the Heavenly Father the life she lived for Him on earth. With everything she has, which is not much these days, she is giving God glory; like she always has.

Funny how the sting of dementia is suddenly taken away.

It has no hold on her love for God. My mother will glorify God with whatever crosses her path, be it a Sunday School meeting, or a sickness. And through His power I, too, can laugh at the days to come. My mother is setting the example.

Funny how God speaks to His children in unexpected ways.

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This article has been read 462 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Wilma Schlegel10/11/12
This makes me want to cry, but yes it does take the sting out of dementia. God bless you for sharing this. It is like a healing balm.
Ellen Carr 10/12/12
This is a very poignant story and I love the way you have God speaking through the MC with dementia. Well written and moving.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/12/12
This is a beautiful tribute and it sent chills running down my back. How wonderful that the one thing this woman hangs onto is her love of the Lord and her time spent with the Sunday School. It speaks volumes about her life and from this story her legacy and God's word will continue on and on long after the dementia is gone. That's a beautiful thing.
Lori Dixon10/12/12
Wow. Wow. So beautifully written. What I lack in words I make up for in tears.
Thank you.
Noel Mitaxa 10/13/12
An inspiring example of how to love someone who can't love back at the same level, which shouts out real value to a world where performance and appearance are all that matters. Congratulations.
C D Swanson 10/15/12
Oh my...this was poignant, touchingly beautiful, and spoke to my heart. I have seen those with this disorder, having worked with this population in the nursing home in my career...and this story is a reflection of this malady in a positive spin.

You've managed to touch on a subject with class, sensitivity, and most important --showing how God works in His mysterious and glorious ways. Beautifully done.

A winner for sure! If this doesn't win...I give up!

Thank you, and may
God Bless you~
lynn gipson 10/17/12
I met a lady in a nursing home who didnt know her own name or even what year it was but I can tell you she knew Jesus. She was one of the happiest people I ever met and she didnt care if her mind didnt work. This is a wonderful story and I can relate because I live with an elderly aunt who is at the onset stage. God Bless and thank you for this! Excellent writing!
Marie Hearty 10/17/12
Beautiful story. It touched my heart. I remember my grandmother, who, in the last couple of years of her life started suffering with dementia and it was sad to see it happen. But she also had her happy times. I love how you showed the character's strong faith in Jesus.

God bless!
Hiram Claudio10/18/12
Great writing and congratulations on your 2nd place finish!
Genia Gilbert10/18/12
This is great! It is such a great approach to the topic, and deeply touching. Congratulations on your placing.
Loren T. Lowery10/18/12
Beautifully written and profound. God is faithful in all His ways, it is for us to discover it without prejudice. Great, outstanding, writing. Congratulations!
Myrna Noyes10/18/12
What a touching, beautiful story! It shows us how a life of giving glory to God does not cease even when old, ill, and not in our right minds. CONGRATULATIONS on your E.C. and level wins with this well-written piece!
Phee Paradise 10/18/12
Oh, I absolutely love this. Yes, your mother was glorifying God and doing what she loved best. God is good.
Noel Mitaxa 10/18/12
Congratulations on your second placing, and for such a sensitively-written story.
Karen Pourbabaee 10/18/12
A very moving piece and testament of the strength of the human spirit! Wonderful writing so deserving of your win.
Bea Edwards 10/18/12
Simply stunning how you interwove such an ugly disease with an astonishingly beautiful testament to a life lived for the glory of God!
Leola Ogle 10/18/12
Good job Jana! Congrats! God bless!
Danielle King 10/19/12
This is so beautiful, touching and encouraging. I knew someone like this, who even in the later stages of dementia, when most faculties were absent, would burst into song, singing praises and reciting scripture with a real look of joy in his eyes.

Congratulations on your very worthy win.
C D Swanson 10/19/12
Jana- Congratulations...I knew this was going to win.

It was beautifully written, and touched me deeply as it did so many others.

God Bless you~