Last year, to support my father-in-law who has early onset vascular dementia, Christopher and I decided to do the Walk to End Alzheimer’s here in Memphis. We loved that his parents were able to join us and that some of our precious friends who also know and love his parents were able to walk with us. That support has meant the world to us. His parents also traveled to the Dallas area last year in order to do the walk with their other son & daughter-in-law who have been part of the walk for several years. In an effort to make it easier on his parents this year, Christopher and I told them that if they were planning to go to Dallas again, we’d join them there so they wouldn’t have to worry about two trips so close together (trips are difficult for my father-in-law). So that’s what this weekend was all about.
I’ll be honest with you guys, this weekend was one of very mixed emotions. Christopher and I arrived a little after midnight on Friday night (well, Saturday morning technically) and were struck with several different things all at once. None of which were easy. But one huge thing was seeing how much my father-in-law had declined since the last time we saw him. I found myself unable to sleep, so I spent the night in prayer instead. But His mercies are new every morning, my friends. Difficult as parts of this weekend were, there were some wonderful highlights. And those are what I want to share with you guys today. 🙂
The Walk itself was fun. From my mother-in-law’s awesome warm-up dance (which I am too kind to post here 😉 ), to Michael laughing at Christopher dancing with the flowers (see pic above), to getting to catch up with my sister-in-law, Katy. She and I chatted through most of the walk and I got to hear all about her new job and her volunteer work with the SPCA. I love hearing people talk about things they’re passionate about. 🙂
Time with my mother-in-law is a blessing. She and I had some great conversations this weekend that reminded me of just what an incredible lady she is. She is the primary care giver for my father-in-law right now and her strength just truly amazes me. I have learned so much about faithfulness, support, and how to love big from her. She is one of the best people to have in your corner and I’m so thankful to have her in my life.
Christopher and his brother are only 18 months apart and they were super close growing up. They even went to university at the same time and roomed together all four years. Since growing up and moving to different states, they talk frequently, but don’t get to see each other in person very often. So Christopher loves any chance he gets to hang out with his brother. Sometimes I could close my eyes and listen to the two of them talk and feel like we are back in the cafeteria at university as they talk about their shared interests. So much has changed in the years since we graduated, but a lot has stayed the same. 🙂
I mentioned earlier that my father-in-law has continued to decline, but there were still plenty of happy moments with him as well. My absolute favorite was when we went to Oktoberfest and he danced with my mother-in-law. This video brings tears to my eyes to see the two of them so happy and playful. Speaking of Oktoberfest… my sister-in-law, Katy, is planning to share more about it on her blog (Katy’s Life Story) if you’re interested in more details. 🙂
Have you been part of a walk or run that means a lot to you?