This morning, Lucky and I strolled through the neighborhood on our morning walk.  The sun was out, but the rain a couple of days ago has brought with it much cooler temperatures.  Almost fall-like breezes blew all around us.  I'm hoping we have said goodbye to the intense heat and dry conditions.

Along the way, a gentleman was walking his dog (off a leash, of course) and the little Maltese bolted across the street straight for Lucky.  Poor puppy; he had no idea the heap of trouble a close encounter with Lucky would bring to him.  Fortunately, his owner caught up with him, and I was able to hold Lucky back, standing between my dog and the innocent little ball of white fluff beside us.

"Sorry!"  the guy was obviously embarrassed.  "He does great unless he sees a rabbit...or another dog."

For my part, I was just relieved that no damage had been done.  We waved at each other and Lucky and I continued on our walk.

Unless....what an interesting word.  I mulled it over in my mind, thinking about all the ways I use that word.  I can get up on time unless I get to bed late.    We will be there unless something come up.

I get along just fine unless I am reminded of what we face in the future with HD.

This week, Kenny and I played music at the hospice house.  An older gentleman - a patient at the hospice home - sat in the common area with us.  He was in a wheel chair, and was somewhat confused.    During the time we were there, some of his reactions and expressions reminded me of Lacy and his bouts of confusion and paranoia.  I realized this is what we have to look forward to with HD.  Wheelchair bound, confused, dying.

I left the room with tears in my eyes.  How could we go through this?

We won't get through it unless we depend on God to give us strength.  I prayed for peace for myself, for Lacy, for the gentleman in the hospice home, for his family.  Prayer doesn't change anything about HD, but it changes me.  During the week, I prayed for God's peace and His mercy.  Today, God lead me to a new perspective on the word unless.

I didn't just see that gentleman in the hospice home, I watched as gentle nurses and aides calmed him and helped him back to his room when he became confused and agitated.  I watched as Kenny talked to his patient with soothing words and smiles.  Patients and families served by hospice would have to walk that final road alone unless someone was willing to walk right beside them.

I thought of the people I meet every day who are struggling with any number of issues.  I have the opportunity to encourage and walk alongside those friends and strangers.  They might feel alone unless someone is willing to speak up and say something, be a shoulder to cry on, or just sit in silence.   We feel so blessed to have all the people around us who are our "unless" support.   I am praying that when God opens the door for me to be someone's "unless," I walk through.


  1. Thank you for saying this and reminding us.

  2. LOVE this bit of wisdom. Especially since we are looking at Alzheimer's facilities for my dad.

  3. You are very gifted with words. Thank you for encouraging me on this long HD journey. My brother in law is in the late stages and today my husband said he just wishes it would be over. I'm glad you find strength
    in God. We are believers but God seems quite distant these days.

  4. I understand the feeling that God is distant. I feel that many days, too. I will be in prayer for you and your family.


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