Alzheimer’s Prayer Journal: An Introspective Journey by Paula Sarver

About Paula Sarver: An Introspective Journey

An Introspective Journey, Paula SarverBy Paula Sarver

Mom has Alzheimer’s. It’s one thing to say it, but another to live it and understand it. In 2014, after placing Mom in a memory care facility, I found Mom’s prayer journals when cleaning her house. She never talked about her disease to us, but she poured her heart out to God.

The earliest writing about her dementia was in 2000 and her last in 2010 when she could no longer put her thoughts together on paper. She described why conversations were difficult. She realized she was saying and doing things that she didn’t want to do, but she couldn’t stop it. She feared being found out, pitied or no longer respected. She praised God for the blessing of this disease to help her live in the moment and to its fullest for as long as possible. Mom had breakdowns too, asking God to take this from her. She often ended those prayers asking for acceptance to what would be and to live with dignity.

I began typing Mom’s writings in chronological order for myself. As I did this, I found myself writing what we, her family, observed. I recalled how we handled the situations and what we learned in the process. As I connected to her prayers, I too was inspired to write devotions from my heart. This eventually became An Introspective Journey, A Memoir of Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

I wrestled with the insecurity of our personal story becoming public. But it was Mom’s words that prompted me in moving forward though another journal writing: “If my pain can help others, then use me.” That also became my prayer. Many with this disease close themselves off from society. To know where to go for support and become vulnerable is challenging. My prayer is for families to be encouraged and begin understanding this disease better through the words of one who could describe what was happening to her. Families need courage to speak about their struggles and be real about what is happening behind closed doors. If we don’t know about families dealing with this disease, we can’t offer support.

My book was published in November 2018. Many people have reached out to me who simply want to talk about how they relate to what we went through. They feel encouraged that they are not alone and need to share. One reader said it changed the way she prayed, and another said it brings her comfort as she deals with her own mother. An administrator at a memory facility said she keeps this book in her office and refers to it when families come to talk about their loved ones.

Paula SarverAbout the Author

Paula Sarver has a master’s degree in education and has served in the public-school system for 28 years. Paula and her family have lived with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease for the past 19 years. Her mom inspired her to never give up but to strive forward with hope. Her prayer is for families plagued by this disease to realize they are not alone and to seek support. One day this disease will be a memory.

Purchase Paula’s book: Amazon

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