This beautifully written post by Antique Mommy reminded me so much of my Dad. So, I thought I would go back in my archives and find this post I wrote about his dementia before he passed away October 2006.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 (original post date)
Man in the Mirror

Man in the Mirror
This is my Dad. He is merely a reflection of the man he used to be. I wonder what he sees when he looks in the mirror. I wonder who he sees when he looks in the mirror. Does he see the "tough guy" Italian boxer he used to be? Does he see the officer that served in the Army and the Navy? Does he see the missionary that selflessly gave of his life to serve on the mission field in Brazil? Does he still see the preacher that said he will only retire the day he dies? Could it be that he sees the invalid whose body is giving out only second to his mind that dementia is stealing from him every day? I wonder, as he looks at himself in the mirror, which one of these men is staring back at him?

You see, my 78 year old father had a stroke several years ago, suffers with prostate cancer, diabetes and dementia. I believe the physical things would be easier to handle, it’s the mental that breaks my heart. He often speaks of his days in the military, and can recall names of those he fought and triumphed over in the boxing ring, but tell him of a family vacation, a special occasion, something as simple as what he just had for dinner and there is nothing but emptiness. Emptiness in the eyes that used to twinkle with mischief. Emptiness in the eyes that could change just as quickly from anger to love and forgiveness as the direction of the wind. My dad has always been the "go to" guy when it came to questions about the Bible. He could recall and quote more Scripture than anyone I’ve ever known. How could it be that all of that is lost? Is it not hidden in his heart? I choose to believe it is locked away in some corner of his mind in which he no longer has the key.

For to me, he is still my Dad, the tough Italian boxer, the selfless missionary, the "go to" guy. Even though he is empty, those things live on in his children. Thank you, Dad, I love you.

Who do we see when we look in the mirror? Do we see a reflection of our Heavenly Father? Or is the image staring back filled with self-centeredness and pride? Do we mirror our Father’s example by practicing the Fruits of the Spirit? Sometimes I wonder what my Heavenly Father thinks when He looks at my reflection. I am so thankful His eyes are filled with unconditional love and immeasurable grace. Lord, help me to reflect You to a lost world. Let me be Your hands and feet.

16 sweet friends had to say...:

mandy - just a girl said...

...makes me miss my dad.
thanks for stopping by Carole's post! we're so excited for her to meet you in bloggy-world soon.

Penless Thoughts said...

Oh my what a touching story. That is a devilish dis-ease. I have not personally had someone intimate to me with it but have seen it close enough in friends to know how terrible it is. God looks at the heart, not the mind and not the body. Praise God for that!

Rhoda said...

Awww, Tracey, I still have my dad & he's about to turn 80 this month. What a touching story about your father. I know you miss him & I dread when my parents are not the same parents they have always rock!

Glad ya'll had fun at the sounds wonderful. We saw fireworks 2 nights in a row, so that was fun.


Tonja said...

Touching post, Tracey. I am so fortunate to have my parents still, and my dad turns 81 tomorrow. How blessed you are to have sweet memories. My theory(and this is just MY theory...I'm sure others may not agree, but that's o.k.) is that those who know and have such rich relationship with the Lord continue to have it even when afflicted by dementia of Alzheimers. I think this is one of those times that the Holy Spirit takes over and continues to communicate to that person. I just think it is on a higher plane than we are on. When a person has been such a warrior for Christ, I think he rewards them with this sweet gift. Like I said...only my theory.


justabeachkat said...


I too read Antique Mommy's post and thought it was beautifully written. She has a way with words for sure.

I remember when you first posted the one about your day. It also was beautifully written. I enjoyed reading it again today.


Antique Mommy said...

What a lovely tribute to your father. How lucky you are to have been his daughter. Thanks for sharing this story.

Jungle Mom said...

knowing your dad before his illness makes this very hard to read and I do feel so for you!!

Gretch@Sketch said...

Hi Tracey,

I saw that you were new from Anne's blog and I wanted to stop in and say hey!

Your story is a touching one. Thanks for sharing!!

Thank you!

NspiredByFaith said...

Such a powerful post, Tracey. Thank you for sharing it with us. Though the situation is a bit different, I often wonder some of the same things about my Mom.


Musicaljean said...

Thanks for posting this again. I remember reading and being moved by it before. How blessed we are to have known and experienced the love of an earthly father. So many people never have.

The Preacher's Wife said...

this is the most precious thing....thank you for sharing your dad and this part of your life with us...


Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Tracey- This is such a wonderful and touching memory. My dad lived with dementia for over 7 years. This August will mark 11 years since his passing. I miss him every day and love him still.

MorningSong said...

So beautiful!! I can feel the adoration for your dad sing through! I love how you brought this back to our Heavenly Father. Our pastor from BR had this saying 'What are we leaving behind? Are we leaving our fingerprint or God's? Do we hide the light of our Father or do we let Him shine in our lives?' This post really brought that message back to me. Thank you for sharing it with us! You are such a blessing!

Magnolia Mom said...

All I can say is wow! That beautiful.

Magnolia Mom said...

See you got me all choked up. I can't even type correctly.


(I hate typos)

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad. Beautifully written!

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