Easter Monday Reflections on Faith

J:  I have had 16 years of Catholic education, yet my truest education in faith has been living with parents with Alzheimers.  The disease has simultaneously challenged and confirmed my faith in so many ways.  Like anyone faced with a chronic, terminal disease, I often ask "why?"  Why are my parents, who did everything right - they ate right, exercised, saved their money- afflicted with this disease?  It's easy to feel cheated - my parents are here, but they're really gone. These negative emotions, though, have ultimately strengthened my faith, because I HAVE to believe that there is a reason for this.  I have to believe, as the Resurrection teaches, that this life is fleeting and eternal life is our goal.  Through this lens, so many needless emotions fall away.  There's no reason to be jealous, or greedy, or hostile.  Because in the end, none of it matters. When I look in my parents' eyes now, I am reminded of the Ash Wednesday prayer "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" . Their minds are diminished and confused; childlike.  And I am reminded that we are all children of a much greater God who is waiting to bring us home.