When life hands you a bucket of lemons you can either become bitter or make lots of lemonade. Ruth Johnstone has been pouring lots of glasses of the latter to thirsty travelers.
She’s accumulated awesome insights to the amazing abundance of potential that is in each of us, to rise above the ashes of our circumstances.
When Troubles Fall Like Lemon Drops is Ruth’s account of the sixteen year process of learning and understanding what was happening to her husband, Steve a victim of Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) – a subtle, invisible presence that showed up like a thief in the night.
I met Steve Johnstone in 1982 at the prime of his career when we worked in neighboring churches in southwestern Ontario – “the sun parlor of Canada.”
A Bucket Full Of Lemons
Steve was an admired minister and known for his outstanding musical talent, playing for ministry conferences all across Canada.
Fifteen years later LBD began peeling away Steve’s independence and robbing him of his life’s calling and sense of self-worth. He lost his ability to dial a number or use his bank card. His driver’s license was taken away. One of the greatest losses was his music.
His memory became more and more distorted. Steve was having difficulty reading scripture, and forgetting things. He lost interest in his work. In 1995 at the age of 49 he was forced to resign his pastoral position and took a year off. In 1998 the storm continued to increase and at the end of that year he packed up his books for the last time.
Denial, frustration, self-pity and fear filled the next six more years until CT scans, MRI’s and cognitive testing finally came up with a diagnosis.
9 Insights From Ruth’s Life
1. “I began to question everything, the meaning of life, my existence, my marriage, my faith.”
2. “Dementia hurts. It divides families, isolates, frustrates and humiliates.”
3. “I wanted to bail. I wanted out but I felt trapped.”
4. “Not only were we going through our emotional transition, I was going through menopause, which really made our little glass castle uninviting at the end of the day. I had bouts of anger where I resented everyone.”
5. “When we lose our joy we lose our strength. It was time for me to get a grip on life.”
6. “Its alright to sit on our pity pot once in a while but whatever we do, flush before we leave the room. Self-pity stinks.”
7. “I am living with someone who is slowly fading away and yet I have to be conscious of the fact that he is very much aware of it and is helpless to do anything about it.”
8. “The transition from being a wife to a caregiver does not come easily.”
9. “Changes in life are inevitable. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Every day is precious. Joy comes from living in the moment, with thanksgiving for God’s abundant grace and love.”
APPLICATION: You can purchase your copy of When Troubles Fall Like Lemon Drops at North Pointe’s bookstore or online at Ruth’s website.
I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.
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