We hold newborn babies and believe we look into eyes of innocence—lives undefeated by mortal existence. Children grow; life gets complicated. Innocence erodes. We hold someone with Alzheimer’s and believe we look into eyes of fear. Lifetime memories fade like shadows, a decade at a time. Lives are lived in reverse. Alzheimer’s attacks its innocent victims. But it doesn’t defeat innocence. Those who have it seemingly return to being a young child and regain simplicity. Physical life ends like it began and returns to undefeated innocence.
From broken memories to broken bones, Alzheimer’s catalyzed terror and defeat in my family. My parents were terrorized by the scrambling of their minds. We who loved them had to suffocate our feelings of defeat as they returned to innocence.
As a caregiver, God allowed me to share in my parents’ passages back to undefeated innocence. I gained loving moments that I would have missed if I hadn’t been involved and if I hadn’t taken up the proper vantage point to see them.
Undefeated Innocence offers hope to caregivers by weaving poignant personal experiences, humor, and biblical stories with a study of the Beatitudes. It answers “Where is God?” in Alzheimer’s. It confirms that caregiving experiences are abnormally normal, and it’s okay to store toothpaste in an underwear drawer. Undefeated Innocence reveals God’s grace through the storms and affirms that caregivers are not alone in wondering if life can return to a place of peace.
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