Today it hit me why I have so much trouble attending church. Elbert has been a member of the Primitive Baptist Church since he was 17 years old. I joined after we had been married for several years (the children were small) so attending church is something that we always did together. After he became an ordained minister our church attendance was something that was a true bond between us.
Then came the Alzheimer's and as we struggled through years of first one trial after another where I could not take him out publicly we sat home on Sunday, listening to church hymns and an occassional sermon on the tape player. He loved the soothing sound of the singing but it got to where he could not comprehend the words from the preacher.
Once Elbert was placed in Magnolia Manor I started going back to church some. But, I found it very difficult to go alone, not having him sitting beside me or me listening to him in the pulpit preaching. And, I would be somewhat relieved when something would come up to prevent me from going. (sickness, bad weather, bad driving conditions etc).
Today when I got to church I sat down in the pew where I always sat with Elbert, picked up my hymnal, opened my mouth to sing and the tears started to flow. I didn't want anyone to notice so I tried to hold them in check but that was impossible. The notes coming out of my mouth were garbled and off-key. So, I made a retreat for the bathroom and tried talking to myself. 'Look you. There are members out in that congregation that have buried their loved ones and they are sitting there singing. Now, dry your eyes and go back out there'. So, I dried my eyes and went back out there but the tears just would not stop. And, clear as a bell, as if someone had spoken to me I heard the words, You are not supposed to be here alone.
No, Elbert and I are supposed to go to church and a lot of other places together. But, thanks to this awful Alzheimers we never will again. I am very sad today and depressed and alone and I could just curl up and die.
However, tomorrow the sun will come up and shine and I will get in the car and go see Elbert and then, perhaps then, I will feel better.