By A.R. “Ross” Gallaher and David A. Sargent
“The most common cause of dementia
is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is a progressive and
irreversible brain disorder. The actual cause of AD is
unknown. AD slowly damages, and then destroys, a person’s
memory, judgment, reasoning skills, personality, autonomy,
and bodily functions”
A.R. “Ross” Gallaher’s grandmother
had Alzheimer’s. He recently reflected on lessons
learned from her illness:
I loved my grandmother on my Mom’s
side of the family because she doted over her grandchildren.
No matter what we did, she always treated us as if we were
the best children in the world. Our Christmases were spent
in South Florida every year running and playing in the
orange groves my grandparents owned. She always had more
presents under the tree than I have seen in any other family
setting because she was such a giving person and also felt
it was important to wrap each gift for anyone on her list.
These images were only enhanced
when my grandmother succumbed to Alzheimer’s. The last time
I saw my grandmother alive, she was in a nursing home unable
to recognize me, my wife Teresa, or any family member
including my mom. I could see that Mom was devastated.
It was such a sad end to the memories and the life of this
But though she could not remember
family and friends, I noticed that she was tremendously
happy. Mom explained that in her mind, she was back home in
Troy AL with her playmates and the family members she had
when she was a child. She did not know that she was an
adult; she was back home in familiar surroundings feeling as
safe and happy as any child should feel in the loving
protection of her childhood home. She had forgotten any
pain, hardship, difficulty or loss given to her by life or
humanity. Everyone was her friend or possible playmate.
Though I would not desire this
disease on anyone, one element is worth examining for its
Alzheimer’s causes memory loss over
time. What would the world be like if we only knew the good,
happy memories of life? What would your life and my life be
like if there were no bad memories, none? Who are you if
forgiveness really did work? What would people say about you
if the only parts of your life revealed to others were warm,
wonderful expressions of joy and contentment? Life would be
blissful; a perfect example of the kind of life Jesus wanted
us to have.
Jesus asks us to forgive because He
has offered us forgiveness. Jesus asks us to love because He
loved us first. Jesus asks us to have an abundant life
because He gave us access to one. Jesus asks us to forget
because He has forgotten our faults.
Given the choice, I choose
“selective Alzheimer’s” – abundant life here and eternal
life with the one who remembers me as His child.*
YOU can become God’s child by...
placing your faith and trust in Jesus, God’s Son, who
died on the cross for our sins (Acts 16:30-31), turning from
those sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him
before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed)
into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
Then, by continuing to follow Him, YOU can experience the
abundant life now and receive eternal life to come.
Won’t YOU accept God’s offer on His
* In loving memory of Annie Mae Childs (Ross' grandmother)
and all our loved ones affected by Alzheimer's.
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at
Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an
electronic devotional entitled Living Water." To learn more about
this excellent resource contact David via their website: