You are not alone

 Insight from Thriving Women.

Writing contribution by Norma Shull Smith

Some of my family and friends who know me personally, know that my husband was diagnosed with beginning stages of dementia.

Let’s face it, we all get frustrated with something or someone in life and when a person is going through dementia, it is easy for them to get frustrated, especially if they only have one arm and one shoulder, like my husband. For the most part I can honestly say he does far better than I do with it. Perhaps it’s because he’s lived with his amputation for over 6 years now.

When the dementia diagnosis was handed down, he just kind of resigned to the fact and didn’t say much about it. Every once in a while when asked how he is, he will answer, “I’m having some memory problems!” Most people, even younger ones, respond graciously and say they are too and I think it makes him feel better. I must admit it is very, very difficult to experience loved ones who were once brilliant in what they did, ebb away with confusion; losing the ability to remember.

you are not alone

Some days I get very angry with disease because I have absolutely no control over it.

I’ve seen too many family members robbed by cancer and this disabling disease over the past few years and I’ll admit, I’ve let frustration set in many a day. Disease has the ability to humble us and to take us out of the driver’s seat in life.

Does my experience make me an expert on the subject? Not by a long shot, but it can make me an open vessel. I write to encourage people and decided, I may as well make it real, because I can’t help people if I pretend that everything is always rosy. Being a Christian doesn’t make us void of terrible things. Of course I refer to scripture almost daily, because that is where I find my resolve. It’s words are wise and soothing, as are old time gospel hymns. Because disease removes us from the driver’s seat, it allows us to let God take us through. I can’t think of a better driver. He not only drives, but many a day, He will allow me to set in the passengers seat and listen to my frustrations and sobs as we journey the road together! Then out of the blue, He will turn something frustrating to me into sheer laughter!!!

On days I feel imprisoned by circumstances of life, prayer, scripture and music become my solace.

I won’t ever say that keeps me from being frustrated, but it smooths the edges and gives me courage to go right back at it and face the wall that on some days seem immovable. We can find laughter in turmoil and we can find ways to overcome adversity if we keep our minds open.”

One of the biggest ways for me to pull myself up, is to reach out to someone else. Pick up the phone and give them a call, or send a card in the mail, or even buy them something when they least expect it. That brings me great joy and I know by experience that it works.

If you are going through frustration due to things beyond your control, remember you aren’t alone in your circumstance. There is always someone with a similar or worse situation; why not reach out to them and give comfort? By doing so, you will realize how much this act actually comforts yourself.



About Norma.

mumNorma Shull Smith’s journey as a teacher, lay minister and speaker began in her 30’s. After being diagnosed with a Central Nervous System disorder that affected her ability to speak in a way that she once enjoyed, she now encourages others through writing and a newspaper column.

Norma loves creativity, art and writing. She lives in in the Midwest with her husband, where she enjoys gardening, keeping in touch with her adult grandchildren and her involvement in a local Chamber of Commerce.

Resources from Norma:

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27 NLT


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  1. Kimi C
    October 17, 2016, 8:40 EST

    Wonderful contribution! Your sweet Mum is very wise❤️

    • MightyD
      October 17, 2016, 11:05 EST

      Isn’t she?! Thank so much for your comment Kimi!

  2. DJ
    October 17, 2016, 10:05 EST

    What a perfect way to honor our Mom, and on her birthday! ? She is an amazing woman and role model. I am so grateful for the example she leads. And I’m proud & thankful for the experiences and insight that you share with so many. My heart is beaming with pride for both of you ladies in my life, and for all that you are doing, the lives you are touching, the hope you are sharing! xo

    • MightyD
      October 17, 2016, 11:05 EST

      Thanks Beanie!!!! I am proud of her too! AND YOU!!!

  3. Marie
    October 17, 2016, 10:12 EST

    It was so nice to read this post from you Mom! We need to hear from more women like her 🙂

    • MightyD
      October 17, 2016, 11:05 EST

      Thanks so much Marie. She is such a light! And I am excited to bring in new writing contributors to this site. I wholeheartedly agree, we need to hear from more women like her!

  4. Susan Fisher
    October 17, 2016, 1:21 EST

    Love your Moms blog! She is a wise woman & raised three wonderful, down to earth, companionate children.

    • MightyD
      October 17, 2016, 4:17 EST

      She is a wise soul! Glad she’s mine 🙂

  5. NJ
    October 18, 2016, 9:03 EST

    I am humbled by these comments and thank each of you for your kind words. One never knows what life will hand to us on any given day. Life is unpredictable and being human we are vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed, but one thing I’ve learned along the journey, is to lean hard on the faith I have in God. He is my constant that never changes. Hebrews 4:16 one of my favorite scriptures says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” NLT

  6. Shirley
    July 27, 2017, 8:53 EST

    I never cease to be amazed at what flows from this beautiful woman. She has the most amazing love, grace, mercy, and faith that runs like a little bubbling stream from a humble and gracious heart and soul. I give honor to…pray for…love and respect her dedication to her husband and family. Norma, you are walking this journey with strength that only God could give…love you…prayers and hugs.

    • Norma
      July 30, 2017, 8:55 EST

      Thank you Shirley for your kind words; I gain strength through the prayers of many, many intercessors, such as yourself; I could never in a million years walk this journey without our Heavenly Father, my family and friends such as yourself.