Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Full Understanding of Unconditional Love - Patti J. Smith

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow. If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

Three years ago, my parents were advised to move closer to family due to their advanced age and my mother’s dementia. My husband and I offered them our home and they accepted, which thrilled but also humbled us immensely, knowing they trusted us with their care.

We were both working full-time but a year after they arrived, my mom’s dementia worsened and she was diagnosed with cancer. At that point, I left my job and became a full-time caregiver. While the cancer was eating away at her body, the dementia was doing the same to her mind … I called it “the light switch.” I never knew if I was going to be greeted with a smile or a torrent of critical and hateful comments. At first the tirades devastated me, even though I knew it was the dementia. It would have been so easy to lash back and walk away, but I couldn’t. She was my mom and I loved her. I would pray and wait for a while, and eventually my loving, kind mom would return.

Those episodes, although painful, were also a blessing. It was God’s way of showing how our roles had reversed. You see, I was raised in a loving, Christian home, but in my late teens I turned away from God and ventured into a life of promiscuity and alcoholism that lasted for over twenty-five years. Both of my parents suffered a great deal, having to deal with my antics and the cruel (albeit true) gossip of a small town, but I think it hit my mom hardest. For some reason, I directed all my vile and demeaning comments towards her. Through it all, not once did she close the door. She continued to pray while encouraging, advising and guiding me until I found my way home.

In February 2014, she slipped into a coma and started her journey to Heaven. I sat with her, held her hand and sometimes laid my head on her chest. I would whisper, “I love you,” over and over again and thank God for this woman who not only gave me life, but gave me something I will carry forever … a full understanding of unconditional love.

This was an article written by Patti J. Smith and published in the June 2015 edition of The Southern Cross – Official Newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego.

Patti J. Smith was baptized into the Catholic faith in 2006 and is a parishioner at St. Timothy’s in Escondido. She writes Christian devotionals, light romance, and suspense. One of her devotionals, “Moments with God”, is a collection of rosary meditations on forgiveness, caregiving, daily living and healing from abortion. Other devotionals focus on depression, addiction, and grief, using personalized scripture.

She is a member of the Association of Christian Therapists, serves as Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats in San Diego. She publicly shares her story of redemption at a variety of venues, has been a guest on Sacred Heart and Blogtalk Radio and appears in the newly-released documentary, “The Sidewalk Chronicles”.

She and her husband, Michael, live in Vista, CA with her father and uncle. Along with caregiving and writing books, she enjoys blogging, reading and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic.

Want to know more about Patti and all of her titles? Stop by her Amazon Author Page:

1 comment:

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the testimony by Patti J Smith unconditional love.I wish there were more people like Patti. The elderly people are very special and should always be treated special as with respect, unconditional love. God will truly Bless. Mikel