I AM MARRIED TO TWO HUSBANDS.
The first is Jim-Bob. He jokes and joshes, but mostly in a land of thick fog, feeling his way across the landscape, sometimes bumping into things and people. A bleak and sometimes cheerless outlook, though many friends hover over him with laughter, love and understanding.
The other husband is James the Bright, and as he climbs above the fog on the mountain ridge, he sees clearly—especially the long trail that extends back to childhood days. He can name the influencers in his life—Linnea Soderberg who taught him to play the organ; his six years at Roxbury Latin School where his first assignment was to memorize the Lord’s Prayer in Latin; Wheaton College where the course of his life—preaching and teaching—was determined. He also picked up a wife and son there. After Fuller Seminary, he settled at West Congregational Church and collected more friends who have loved and cared for him over the 58 years since then. AND he maintains a clear-eyed view of the Bible.
Life with two husbands grows more interesting every day. Dementia is no small challenge! But isn’t this a paradigm or metaphor of Real Life? We shuffle our way through dark and light with all its mistakes and stupidities until we break through the clouds into the Everlasting Light and Presence of our glorious God. And even in our days of darkness, we sometimes catch glimpses of that other world.
A dear friend once had a clear vision of Jesus. “I saw Joy deep in His eyes, a Joy that was blithe, untroubled, and unperturbed by the goings-on of this planet. He knows how it will all work out—for me and for 7 billion others. As He walks away, He turns with a joyous smile and beckons with His hand; “Come on! I’m not worried, and you’re with ME.”
Me ‘n Jim-Bob and James the Bright: In all our dimness, we’re on the cusp of this glorious, joyous future.
WE FEAR NOT.
Had to get assorted permissions for this one, but I felt it important to keeping us focused in the right direction. Where has Jesus shown up in your dimness? Please tell me your stories. Comment below, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ellie, James the Bright, and Jim Bob,
Sending love and prayers for both the Bright and the foggy days.
with gratitude for your influence, mentoring and caring for so many… especially me.
Thank you for your words! I am so blessed to be someone who was, and continues to be, influenced by you and Jim. You are both a beacon of light and love. I couldn’t love you both more if I tried. I don’t see you two enough, our meeting a are fleeting moments of extreme joy but you marks are on my heart. ❤️
Well hello, again, Ellie. I helped my mother look after my father his final ten years, and this post brings me back to those days.
Dementia never changed my dad’s personality or Alzheimer’s his trust in the Lord. Speaking of images, you remind me of one of my favorites–Klimt’s “The Kiss.” Seems to be Song of Songs illustrated, as that part of the Bible has been traditionally interpreted.
LE: You have been a great woman for all seasons. You will be great in this season too. There will not be less pain or fewer heartaches. I pray for you and root (rah rah, go LE) for you also.
Blessings Bill H
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
He summons you by name, implies a recognition of one’s own name when spoken by the Lord.
Fear not, Ellie! Your daughter has been teaching me to say this recently. It is a good word.
Love you and Jim very much.
Ellie, would you send me your email address and phone number. I would love to call and get to hear directly how you guys are doing. email@example.com
dear Ellie and Jim,
Jesus was there in our dimness in the sweetness of the both of you at my mother’s bedside singing hymns to her as she waited to cross over into the glories of heaven.
Jesus was there in Jim’s words of compassion to my dad in the loss of his dear wife.
Jesus was there as you and Jim and I shared communion with my dad after he came to salvation in Christ and was dying of leukemia.
Jesus was there for us through the love of you and Jim for us and so many others.
We love you, Jesus loves you.
When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be, when we all see Jesus !
Beautifully written! I understand perfectly well what you are saying since I cared for my mother who had dementia. You never knew what a day would bring, but often there was laughter (sometimes to keep from crying) and joy. The mind is a tricky thing! Blessings to you and Jim as you travel this road.
This blog is my most favorite amongst the many I have read. It’s up close and personal, full of love, You and Jim are like peanut butter and jelly, ole’ favorites of mine. Your lights shine in the darkness, like a comforting night light, that I still like to have on when I prepare to sleep. My Mom had dementia, I understand it all to well. We loved, laughed and some days weren’t as easy as the one the night before. But, I keep the joy within, the daily routines that was ours alone, my Mom and I. We were 15 years a part in age, we grew up together…… my Mother, my sister, my friend.
I love both personas. And the delightful lady they are married to.
Good morning Ellie,
That certainly is an assuring, inviting, and beautiful image of Jesus. I have looked on the internet before to find the most beautiful illustrations of Jesus and didn’t find quite what I was looking for. I was not aware of the dementia until your e-mail but I do understand why you have a lot of people rallying around. You are both so loved and by many people !
Dear Ellie, hope you are doing well. How is Jim (Bob and the Bright)?
Praying for you both.
You and Jim are such an encouragement to the rest of us! Thanks for being transparent and real.
This is a test of the captcha on submitting a comment on the blog
comment # 2
Awesome. Love it. How sweet for Jim to have you at his back and side
Thanks for sharing where you are at. Please continue and know my honest prayers are with you.
I didn’t realize that Jim had dementia until reading this.