Our family is currently dealing with the fact that my husbands grandfather (Papa Cain) is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. As of now, he still remembers our names and a few little things, but he forgets what day it is and where the bathroom is located in his house.
It’s so sad to be talking to him and have him almost immediately forget your conversation. His wife passed away in March of 2010, and he often thinks it happened just a day or two ago. It’s heart wrenching. We, like many families who deal with this dreaded disease, take things on a day-by-day basis. Some days are good, others not so good.
However, the thing that stands out to me most about Papa is that without fail he ALWAYS remembers to pray before every meal. He is ALWAYS telling others about the goodness of God. In fact, he sometimes tells you repeatedly because he can’t remember what he said last.
Papa Cain repeatedly tells the same story of his Grandpa Johnny sitting him on his knee and telling him that he loved him. All these things remind me of something we say around here at Orange: “A hundred years from now the only thing that will matter in the life of a person is their relationship with God.”
Nothing is more important than our relationship with God. That is why we do what we do. We want this amazing relationship for the next generation. We want our children and our children’s children to grow up knowing and loving the God who made them and His Son who died for them.
This relationship is so evident in the life of Papa Cain. His memory is fading. His health is dwindling. Yet, he still has Christ. He doesn’t stress about how his bills get paid or if he’s going to be able to cut the grass. His life is about trusting in God to take care of him. And, He does so through us, Papa Cain’s family.
We’re God’s hands and feet to a man who in our book is a spiritual giant. He was taught the truth—that our relationship with God matters most, before it was ever written on a poster or a coffee mug. And he has spent his life modeling that truth to us. We couldn’t be more thankful.