The friends we make when we’re young never stop being friends even when life takes them far away. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and am still friends with so many from the early years of school through high school. One such family was the Conrow family. The 3 oldest kids were all fairly close to my age and we went to school, church and Sunday School together. When their little brother came along, it felt like having a baby brother.
I reconnected with these friends almost 15 years ago. After about 3 decades of “separation” we took up as if we had never parted! Then in 2015 I moved to El Paso to live with and help care for their mother who had Alzheimer’s. The arrangement was orchestrated by God to not only take care of Sandra, but me as well. I was at a point in my life that I needed the connection with these friends to help heal ME! This was the year after my husband had left me, my father had passed, I’d developed some health issues and then was without a job. Being able to spend time with a family that had been an important part of my upbringing… it was truly as if God had turned the clock back and was remaking my future!
Sandra LOVED her family… nothing brought a smile to her face like family!!
I lived with Sandra for almost 2 and half years and went back to school to get some healthcare certifications. I so enjoyed my time with her. We had many great days… wandering around Home Depot looking for something, but not quite sure what it was… taking trips to her favorite plant nursery and stuffing my little Jeep full of plants and items she needed for her many rose bushes. Sandra loved her kids, grandkids and greatgrandkids, fiercely! As she started slipping further into Alzheimer’s, we did have hard days too. Those were almost always because she was very independent and very stubborn. Being stubborn isn’t always bad! I hope some of her stubbornness rubbed off on me during my time there. Her stubbornness carried her through MANY things in life. The confusion Alzheimer’s brought her made it impossible for her to be as independent as she was accustomed. I feel privileged to have been able to spend so much time with Sandra and help keep her healthy, safe and in her home as long as possible!
Sandra lovingly coaxed roses to bloom in the desert
Sandra recently developed some more serious health issues and within a couple weeks God said “Come HOME my child”. One of her daughters kept singing to her that morning… I Can Only Imagine. We can only imagine what it was like for her open her eyes in Heaven… welcomed in by her Savior, with a clear mind and healthy body… able to sing with a voice strong and clear. The first thing she did may truly have been to sing one of her favorite songs, “How Great Thou Art”!