Ray Money’s wife, Eddie, was sitting on the sofa, where she used to nap through our visits. Just across from her, on another sofa, I see a pillow with the statement, “Those who believe, will see miracles.” Eddie is ninety-two and suffers from Alzheimer’s. She doesn’t hear and can’t see. Gradually, the disease robbed her body and mind of everything she liked to do. All she does now is sleep. She also falls a lot, and every fall takes her strength and confidence away. It also puts pressure on Ray, who now has to cook, watch over his wife, and also take care of himself. His neuropathy is not deadly, but is not pleasant, either. He struggles with the decision of placing Eddie into a nursing home, and the struggle on his face is obvious.
“I do not understand what kind of God is this if Eddie believed in Him more than I do. She prayed for a miracle not to lose her hearing since she was 37. Nothing helped. She had surgeries, hearing aids, but she has been nearly deaf for the last twenty years, and now Alzheimer’s… I was a banker my whole life, practical and pragmatic, and now I am destined to wrestle with questions like these until I die. There are no answers…”
I looked at the pillow and could see Ray’s point well. Ray was missing his wife’s companionship for many years. He was destined to be lonely, while she was still alive, right there, next to him, on the sofa.
“I found her Bible that I’ve never seen. It seems like she spent lots of time reading it. The Bible is full of her marks. What is interesting, she didn’t use a marker but a pencil. She underlined Bible verses and sentences very gently. I tried to understand the pattern of her thoughts, but there is no pattern…”
“Maybe this is God’s way to help you reconnect with Eddie now when she can’t even speak?” Ray gave me a tired look. We both knew it was lame.
“What did she think about reading this Bible? What I do not understand is why I never knew she had another Bible – different from the one she read in bed every night.” Ray’s face expresses hurt, “I guess, I will never know.” Eddie doesn’t even recognize her husband.
When I am with Ray, I listen to his questions the size of the universe. His eternity is at stake. Ray lives with questions that do not have answers… and he just turned ninety. His valid doubt is about will it be ever given to him. He has the sharpest mind, and he needs companionship. He wants to talk to someone, he reads, and has guts to have his own opinion that he wants to share, but Alzheimer swallowed Ray’s wife’s intellect and memory. Who can he talk to?!
God made me meet Ray to wrestle with the innocent pillow statement “Those, who believe, will see miracles…” The miracle is in the Grace of God that comes to each of us unexpectedly, through the words of our loved ones who try to bring us comfort even in silence, just like the words of Ray’s wife written in pencil in her Bible – the words of hope and love that he could read now after his wife is gone.