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Special Feature - When I Was Young

I would like to introduce my friend, Norma Kidwell to the blog. Norma has been a friend of mine for twelve years. This week she shares her heart with you in a special story of learning to be a mother in the midst of losing her parents and she shows us where God was through it all. Enjoy this special feature post.

When I was young, I never dreamed my life would take hard bumps along the way so quickly. I was an only child, born to older parents. They spoiled me rotten. Even though we did not have much money, they always made sure I had everything I needed. I was a miracle child for them and they loved me more than life itself.

I met the love of my life in college and we married in June 1979. I was a young bride at only 20 years old. In December of that same year, my mom found a lump in her breast. The nightmare began. Her long battle with cancer consumed our lives. Seven years of watching her slowly slip into death proved to be extremely difficult for me. I was a mother myself, trying to juggle taking care of my parents while also taking care of my child.

After her death, I dealt with so much guilt. Had I abandoned my dad by simply living my life? Had I been there enough, even though I had family obligations of my own? This guilt led to our decision to sell our home and move closer to Dad.

Life slowly became normal again. We had our second child and soon started the construction of a new home, next door to Dad’s. All was right with the world until the night I received the call that Dad was being rushed to the hospital. He suffered the first of three heart attacks that spanned over the next three months. He underwent open heart surgery but on March 1st of the following year, he lost his battle with heart disease and went to be with the Lord and Mom. Those three months were mind numbing.

I could hardly wrap my mind around being a 30 year old orphan with two babies of my own. The fact that I had asked Jesus Christ as my personal savior at the age of 12 offered me the peace and comfort I needed during these difficult years. It also offered me the confidence he would never leave my side.

Thirty years have since passed and I have embarked on a new season of our lives. For the last five years, we have endured the painful process of my husband’s parents age and see their health deteriorate. Both of them suffered with dementia and they have both now passed away.

Over the years, I questioned why my parents died when I was so young. God sent me the comfort though. He knew it would have been more difficult for me to watch them age and their mental faculties diminish.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are debilitating diseases. It is difficult for the once who are affected by it, but it is also difficult for the ones caring for them. I lift up the caregivers of loved ones in prayer today. You are not alone. May you find rest and comfort through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Your trials are temporary and Jesus is there walking with you through your storm.