A Tribute to My Dad, a POW, and a Veteran of Two very Different Wars

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  • Shirley V

    Ephesians 5:25-27 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

    We are sinful “sick” people and Christ did not leave us or divorce us. He died for us. If we take Pat Robertson’s comments and apply them to Christ and his bride, then we have no hope. Thankfully that is not the case and Mr. Robertson will have to answer for his words.

    As an aside, my mom and dad have been married for 53 years, they raised 6 children to be solid Godly Christian members of society. They made it through countless hardships living in Europe during the war and then moving the entire family to the US for a better life. God has blessed our family in coutless ways. My mom, the woman that cared for all of us, that made sure we were tucked in at night, that made sure we had hugs,kisses, love and laughter- is now being taken care of by my dad. He shows such love, respect and concern for her, even though he says she’s not the same woman that he married. He still loves his wife as Christ loves the church. I can only thank God that He presented my dad to my mom 53 years ago so that she would have someone as special and patient to take care of her, when she can no longer take care of herself.
    And I am thankful that Christ has done the same for me.

  • http://caring.com Tracey

    Ken, I am hurt and appauled by Pat Robertson’s cold comments. If we all simply walked away from our loved ones, what kind of person would we be? How can a man call himself a Christian and make those remarks. What if Christ walked away and did not die for our sins? Where would we be? My mother suffers from Alzheimer’s, as does my father-in-law. My father-in-law now has cancer on top of the AD. The love I see on his wife’s face when she looks at him is so touching. She loves her husband and she is at his side taking care of him every day, and would not think to ever give that responsibility to anyone else. My mother was and is my rock. Yes, she is a “different” person now, but she still remembers how to pray. I love her and will never leave her side. I hope that “Mr.” Robertson is not stricken with this horrible illness, and I hope that his family doesn’t leave him.

  • Elizabeth Willingham

    My Granny had Alzheimers. I sometimes questioned myself about why I went to see her every day. That is truly the right answer – I still knew who she was and how much she had done for us and how much she had loved us. I sure did love her!

  • Julie Patterson

    Ken – It took me many tries to fully get through this post because I could not read it through my tears. As you might recall, I lost my mom 2 1/2 years ago to this terrible disease as well. My experience was very similar to yours. Although she may not have known my name or even what a daughter was anymore – she knew she was loved – and I think she knew she loved me. Her unconditional love was still there and I felt it in her touch. One of the greatest privileges of my life was to lay in bed beside her a few hours before she was whisked away to heaven – singing to her and whispering to her how much she was loved and cherished.
    Thank you again for this beautiful blog. I suspect Pat Robertson has never had a loved one suffer from this disease. I, too, pray that my loved ones and friends will still know me if I should ever have to suffer this fate.
    Love you, my friend. Julie

    • Janet Anthony

      I pray that Mr. Pat will not be treated the same way he has treated others.
      Golden Rule

  • Gary Butler

    A few years ago my father in law called me to ask how to do something that he taught me to do. That was the first sign, and we watched as his mind wandered farther and farther away.

    He continually insisted that he was in someone else’s house and wanted to go home. On December 28, 2009 he wandered away from home around 11pm.

    We searched for 5 days with dogs, horses, ATVs, helicopters, and hundreds of ground searchers. The day after the search was officially cancelled, 5 sisters whom he had carried to the church he pastored when they were children went out on their own and saw a solitary buzzard which led them to the body. He was found several miles away through thick woods.

    It had been years since the family had gathered for Christmas. During that 5 days we came together in a way that could only be attributed to God. I will always believe that when he took his final walk, Jesus said, “Let’s take the long way so your kids will have time to become a family again.”

  • Steve Jones

    Tears rolling down the cheeks. Thank you friend! “I still know who she is.” So powerful.

  • Kim

    I too was stunded by what Mr. Robertson said. I had a grandfather who suffered from it. Thank goodness his wife did not divorce him. She stood by his side and loved him ALWAYS not matter. I am thankful your father had you to do the same. A friend liked this blog on FB. I will do the same.

  • Barbara Rodgers

    I am so angry! Now I know why I never cared for Pat Roberson. May God have mercy on his soul because I can’t. I have friends who have had a parent with Alzheimers. Never would they have even thought this. Maybe someday he’ll get it too.

  • Keith

    Wow…absolutely powerful stuff. Ken, I’m so so very thankful for men like you, and especially for your father. May his tribe increase and his legacy continue to be mighty in the land. Further, I say “A pox upon Pat Robertson and the 700 Club!” My dear mother in law, whom I love as my own mother, is sinking deeper into the grip of this dread disease, yet her husband of 60 years continues to love and cherish her. I weep as I watch him lavishing tender love upon a woman who now has trouble remembering the house where they spent decades together. I pray I will have that kind of love for my wife. His name is Ken, like you… and like your love for your father, his love is a triumph that makes mockery of all the lies of all the Pat Robertsons of the world, with their false and vain divorce advice.

    God be good to you and bless you and cause His countenance to shine upon you and yours!

    Keith

  • Hope Machemehl

    Robertson’s opinion is so wrong. When dealing with my Mother’s alzheimers, she was still my mom! The thing that I wondered about the most was this: She didn’t talk but how could I know what she knew and was unable to verbalize? I always wanted to believe that someplace in her mind, she knew who I was, knew that I loved her, and that she loved me.

  • Bill Jenkins

    “What would Pat Robertson have done with my Dad?”

    My guess would be NOTHING.

    You are in control of your own behaviors. Pat Robertson doesn’t have the ability to dictate anything that would have happened to your Dad.

  • Ed Almonds

    I think of all the “prophecies” that PR proclaimed which never came true. Voice of God? Hardly. His true colors shown brightly when he sold his Christian network to a secular one for beaucoup bucks.

  • Nancy Dreyer

    Ken,

    I adore you as a comedian, and spent many nights laughing at you till I cried. But obviously you didn’t hear or see the whole interview with Pat.

    And, as I am sure you have experienced, the press is always on the prowl waiting for any opportunity to discredit Christians.

    Here’s what Robertson actually said: At the tail end of Tuesday’s show, his co-host, Terry Meeuwsen, read a chat-room question from a man seeking advice. The message said:

    I have a friend whose wife suffers from Alzheimer’s. She doesn’t even recognize him anymore, and, as you can imagine, the marriage has been rough. My friend has gotten bitter at God for allowing his wife to be in that condition, and now he’s started seeing another woman. He says that he should be allowed to see other people because his wife as he knows her is gone… I’m not quite sure what to tell him.

    Meeuwsen turned to Robertson for an answer. In the video, you can see him struggling: “That is a terribly hard thing. I hate Alzheimer’s. It is one of the most awful things, because here’s the loved one—this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years, and suddenly that person is gone. They’re gone. They are gone. So what he says basically is correct, but—I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again. But to make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her—

    Meeuwsen interjected: “But isn’t that the vow that we take when we marry someone, that it’s for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer?” To this, Robertson replied, “Yeah, I know, if you respect that vow, but you say ‘till death do us part,’ this is a kind of death. So that’s what he’s saying, is that she’s like—but this is an ethical question that is beyond my ken to tell you. But I certainly wouldn’t put a guilt trip on you if you decided that you had to have companionship. You’re lonely, and you’re asking for some companionship, as opposed to—but what a grief. I know one man who went to see his wife every single day, and she didn’t recognize him one single day. And, she would complain that he never came to see her. And it’s really hurtful, because they say crazy things. … It is a terribly difficult thing for somebody, and I can’t fault them for wanting some kind of companionship. And if he says in a sense she is gone, he’s right. It’s like a walking death. But get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer, because I recognize the dilemma and the last thing I’d do is condemn you for taking that kind of action.

    That’s the whole text of the conversation.

    Robertson wasn’t talking about bugging out when the going gets tough. In the story he recounted, the diseased woman’s husband had visited her every day, enduring her reproaches and the loneliness of being a perpetual stranger. The husband had given love and labor. The question was whether at some point, his obligations changed.

    Second, Robertson didn’t say divorce was better than staying with an afflicted spouse. He said divorce was better than adultery. In the situation presented to him, the husband was already seeing another woman. Robertson’s answer was that the man should get a divorce “if he’s going to do something.” Again, you may object. But the point of Robertson’s answer was that the man shouldn’t go on dating while married.

    Third, Robertson didn’t advocate divorce. He said he wouldn’t “condemn” or “put a guilt trip” on someone who did it under the circumstances. And he stipulated that the obligation to provide custodial care couldn’t be broken.

    What’s striking in Robertson’s answer is that, he gets this. Instead of quoting the Bible, he thinks of someone he knows: the man whose wife lost her mind. He celebrates a love that endured for decades but, in the same breath, affirms the awful reality that the person who had lived in that body is gone. He grapples with the paradox of walking death. He struggles to reconcile duty, effort, and pain. He gropes for an interpretation of marriage vows that won’t imprison the surviving partner. He offers sympathy and withholds condemnation. He says the dilemma’s complexity exceeds his powers of ethical judgment

    I’m sorry Ken, but I just don’t think he was as “cold-hearted” as you are protraying him…

    • Sara J.

      You said it all “Instead of quoting the Bible, he thinks…” Call me crazy, but I personally believe that the Bible is a higher authority than Pat Robertson or any story he can think of. God’s word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow…it is the ultimate guide for ANYTHING life throws our way. I don’t believe his response to this question is Biblical at all, merely politically correct. Most times, as in this case, those are two completely different things.

      Ken – Thank you for sharing your story. I agree with you. My Gramma was my Gramma even when she didn’t know me and it was hard, even painful, to visit. Hopefully I won’t ever have to endure this with my parents or husband, but if the day comes, I will be by their side until they leave me to meet up with God.

    • Linda

      Is Sara J the only one that actually heard what Robertson said? I am no fan of any of the news media because I expect clips that leave out thethe truth, but I did expect more from Christians that have quoted only one part of one sentence this man said about the most horrible disease that is hitting way too many families. Sensitive subject to me – BUT I want the truth on anything I hear. Sad other jump on the bandwagon and try to put others down, with half truths.

  • Errol Helton

    Pat Robertson has uttered many thoughts that have shocked other Christians.

    If you enjoy watching Pat then treat the experience a little like eating chicken – enjoy the chicken and discard the bones.

  • Bill Donehue

    Thank you Ken for your excellent response to Mr. Robertson’s comment. I really thought Pat’s comments out of line for Christians. My grandpa, aunt, & others didn’t stop being my grandpa, aunt, etc. because of a disease. They will still be that until I meet them in Heaven. If Alzheimer’s is reason enough to divorce as Pat seems to believe, then it would stand to reason, plenty of other excuses could be used too; i.e. terminal cancer, other brain injuries, etc. No we Christians need to keep all the more compassion for others as we can no matter what the cost.

  • Connie Barker

    Alzheimer’s had my Mother for 20 years. The doctors said she would only live 10 at the most but because my Mom was healthy as a horse except for migraines, she endured 20 years with it. It takes away ones dignity she once told me before she realized she too had it and she was correct.I still miss my Mom and wish I could call her for a recipe, a chat, or a remedy to an annoying ache or pain. I would never had thought of her as a discard because she was no longer “with us” mentally. When I looked in my Mom’s eyes, I could still see my Mother there.
    Shame on you Pat Robertson and beware…God works in wondrous ways to open one’s eyes to others’ heartbreak…to let us walk in another’s shoes. I hope your children are more compassionate and better Christians than you appear to be.

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  • vicki muraoka

    I am sorry to hear and read all the blogs my mom and dad both suffered from this illness but has anyone stopped to think maybe pat robenson might be suffering from the same illiness. I am praying for all familys of this illness tk for reading other points of this issue.

  • Jeremy

    I do believe in Jesus last minutes, before he ascended to Heaven, He looked at the people gathered around Him on that mount and said “mother….this is your son…” with those words, he established community. what is the role of a community? to look out for it’s own and for others…to be neighborly. now…a lawyer once asked Jesus ‘who is my neighbor?” (trying to decieve Jesus) to which Jesus replied by telling a story: there was a man, who was lying in the middle of the road, almost dead. he had been robbed and beaten, left to die. a priest passed him on one side and another man had passed him on the other…only looking at the man. a samaritan man saw this person in need, stopped, fixed him up with medicines, cleaned his wounds, bandaged him, and set him on a donkey. the samaritan took him to an inn, and paid for the man’s room and board. the samaritan told the inn keeper “whatever else he needs, let him have it. I will be back by to pay for everything.” This is what community is all about…being NEIGHBORLY.

  • Steve Minaghan

    Through the tears; I really wished my dad and mom were still here. The way my parents stayed together for 50 years and to watch my dad die of this disease and then my mom 6 months later passing on my dads birthday showed me how much love there was in their hearts for each other. For all the families that have parents who are going through this my prayers are with you. Pat Robertson doesn’t have a clue!

  • Joe Fitzpatrick

    I truly believe Pat Robertson has “left” us long ago. Look back at some of his other public statements and feel remorse for him, he is hurting himself more than anyone else and he doesn’t even realize it.

    • Angie

      Joe, I completely agree! …well said. Praying he sees the error of his ways, repent and return to the Godly principles and values that brought his ministry to the place it was. Isn’t it wonderful that God forgives when we repent and He restores what we have broken.

  • http://lovepats.blogspot.com/ Patricia

    Hey Ken,

    Thank you for this post and the story. My Dad also suffered from dementia before he died. As a hospice worker in my hometown I will be sharing this story with my co workers and the volunteers whom I train for home visits. Thanks again, Ken.

  • susan

    Where in the Bible does it say that you can divorce a spouse because they become sick? The only reason that God gives us is because of adultery. My mom had alzheimers for 5 years and my wonderful father took care of her till the day she died. He endured behavior that was not that of my mother. God will reward him in the end for being the faithful Christian that he is and believing in the verses that say a husband and wife are bound together until death.

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  • Lisa Lambert

    Thank you so much for this post. We just saw my mother-in-law to the end and she is now resting in the arms of her Lord. She could not speak, eat, swallow but we were still holding her hand til the end and she knew it. I believe she could still hear us and feel our touch. Sure would hate to be Pat’s wife :) He needs to remember that God is still in control of the span of our lives — our first day and last and the vows we make in between need to be kept. Lisa

  • Linda Mors

    My dad had the longest battle with Altzhiemers of anyone I knew. He lived in an Altzhiemers unit for 7 years after he was too bad to live at home. My Mother went to visit him twice a day every day except 2 blizzard days and the day my son got married. Dad still followed her around the room with his eyes up until the end. He may not have known that she was his wife but he knew she was someone he trusted. A year after his death and my 80 year old Mom is still going there once a day to help “the old people.”

  • Andy Tonne

    Ken – thank you for sharing your heart with us about your dad. He was a blessed man to have such a loving family. Blessings to you and your family in his passing. There are very few reasons that divorce should even be a consideration in a marriage, this is definitely not one of them. To God be the glory and praise forever, Amen.

  • Margareth

    Dear friend, thank you for sharing this with us, And I can feel the love for your father in this letter. May God bless every one who reads this letter. Gods blessing for you and your family from a dutch friend in Christ.

  • Joyce Mancke

    Ken;
    A sad but true story. My dad was dying with cancer and had been very sick for a long time. He couldn’t lie down in bed and breathe so he sat in a recliner for over two years, never touching his head to a pillow. My mom sat across the room from him in her recliner for over two years as well, watching every move he made. It was to much for her and day by day her mind begin slipping away. She would ask me over and over, “who is that man in that chair, is it my dad or my brother” and I would tell her “no mom, its my dad and your husband”. For a moment she would remember and she would bow her head and cry like a baby, only to ask the same question again 30 minutes later. They were wonderful christian parents and were married for over 60 years. They taught me so many things, especially love and compassion. My dad, unable to breathe and talk at the same time, led his caregiver to the Lord. She was a 35 yr. old woman from the Ukraine and had been searching all her life for Jesus. We bought her a Russian Bible and she read it completely through in just 5 months. My dad said, “my pain will be worth it all, if I can lead “Olga” to the Lord” and she was saved a few weeks before his death. Praise God they are both in Heaven now rejoicing and singing praises with Jesus.

  • Jerra

    Loved the story :)

  • Jeanna

    Regardless of what Pat Robinson says.. (he is NOT God), this is not one of the reasons we should divorce our spouse. Our vows says through sickness and health… it doesn’t say to stay with them while they remember you or during the good times. Otherwise which marriage (if we’re to be honest) would still be together after a few years? I am thoroughly disgusted with him and can only hope he is made to eat his words… and that is karma(or you reap what you sow).

  • Sallie Helmer

    With all due respect you are wrong about what Pat Robertson said. The man was going to have an affair and not tell his wife who is suffering with Alzheimers disease. Since she would never know would it be alright to just go ahead and have the affair. Pat Robertson did not want the man to commit adultery so he advised him, if he was determined to have an affair, it would be better if he divorced his wife first.

    • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com Mike T

      It would still be adultery even if he did “remarry” because the grounds for divorce (sickness) are illegitimate according to every scripture and tradition in the church. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig; you can bless a “marriage” in the name of the trinity until the second coming and if it has such a fundamental impediment, God won’t extend His grace to the parties by recognizing it as a valid marriage.

      • Ray

        Amen, bro.

  • jean

    One of the dearest and loving friends I ever had was stricken with this horrible disease. How could you turn your back on someone that had meant so much to you. Yes, God knows our hearts and we should never cast aside even one of His children. May God have mercy on those who speak with such unkindness. My heart breaks for all those who were hurt by such uncalled for remarks.

  • Robert Skilton

    I have worked in a nursing home; my wife has for many years been the Director of Nurses in different nursing homes throughout her career. We both have seen this disease and what it can do. I have seen faithful spouses show up at the nursing home every day faithfully many a time because, even though the loved one doesn’t really know they’re there, they remember all the warm loving memories and happy times they had before the disease hit and feel it their loving duty to uphold their marriage vow “’til death do us part.” I dare say that Pat Robertson has never had a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. This is not the only time that he has made foolish comments and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

    Bob Skilton

  • Lou May

    Your response was great and certainly what God would have us do with our spouse or loved one who may come down with that dready disease. I question Pat Roertson’s response and he someday may be faced with a love one or even himself coming down with alzeheimers. I don’t know what he was thinking…he certainly was not following scriptures.

  • http://n/a Joan Pugh

    Thank you Ken for sharing your powerful and touching blog…I could not immediately respond because of my tears for awhile, but have mopped up sufficiently to let you know that my mother also suffered from a similar disease and was in a nursing home for the last 8 ½ years of her life (went to her heavenly home almost 3 years ago now). Those were very difficult but, in retrospect, very blessed years for me as I went each night to feed her supper and spend time with her. I have no regrets…and repeatedly thank God for those years – she still knew she was loved and I have those memories and His Love to sustain me in the painful times.

    God Bless you Ken!

    P.S. our (Heise Hill Travel Club) Bus load of Canadians missed you at NQC this year!

    Joan Pugh
    Stouffville, Ontario, Canada

  • Marj Stone

    I’m beginning to wonder if Pat Robertson is “not there” any more to make such an anti-Christian comment! Thank you for this blog, Ken.

  • Kris Hanson

    Thank you for your response to Pat Robertson’s “proclamation”. I have to admit when I read/heard that, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I lost my father to Parkinson’s Disease that turned into Alzheimers. My mother was his primary caregiver along with my sister and myself. We eventually had to put him in a nursing home because he became combative with us. He couldn’t say our names, but he knew we loved him. We also lost Mom 1 1/2 years ago due to cancer. It never would have occured to Mom to divorce Dad. They were lovers to the end, even if Dad couldn’t remember her name or that she was his wife. That didn’t matter. Deep down, his spirit knew. Isn’t it sad that some people who have been given a microphone and an audience lose their grasp on absolute truth. As far as I know, biblical truth is not relative or open to personal definition.

  • Linda

    My Dad had alzheimer the last 12 years of his life – so to say the least, I am VERY aware of the terrible disease. I did hear what Pat Roberson said – the only difference is, I heard all that he said about the way a husband or wife should be treated. He was getting the point across to divorce the mate before livingin sin with another person. I did not hear him saying that it was best to divorce the mate, period. I heard the whole statement of him saying it would be worse to ‘run around’ on your partner. Just sayin…. news media NEVER publishes the truth, if it makes a Christian look wrong.

  • Debbie

    Ken,
    I am so thankful that you are standing up for what is right in this day when no one seems to.
    My grandfather passed away with Alzheimers. He
    was a wonderful person until he died. Until you draw your last breathe you have a living soul.
    God bless.

  • Anita Brown

    I wonder what Mr. Robertson would do with someone who has had a stroke and it affected their body so bad that they couldn’t talk or didn’t recognize anyone. Would he feel the same way? My father-in-law had this happen to him and didn’t know any of us before he passed away but we didn’t give up on him we stayed with him until the end and don’t regret anything because he was my husband’s dad and my father-in-law. I pray for Mr. Robertson because that is not what the Bible says in our vows, “In sickness and in health, till death us do part”.

  • Becky

    I am very saddened to hear of Robertson’s recent comment. One could say he had lost him mind!!! What should we do with him!!! Any person who has truly loved a terminally ill person with any disease who was not aware of their surroundings is very sickened and saddened by Robertson’s comments. He must of left out “In sickness and in health” when he took his vows before God. Thanks Ken for the story. I have read it recently somewhere else but it is a good story to read over and over again.
    Becky In Wisconsin

  • CAT

    Thank you Mr. Davis for sharing this with all of us. Alzheimer is affecting my family at the present. I think Mr. Robertson needs to study his bible, rethink this, and sincerely make an apology to all the Christian people. I would never and have never consider watching his progamming. Thank you also to Scott Fowler who shared this with us.
    Lenexa KS

  • BILLY MORRIS

    GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME,PRAY FOR BRO. PAT ROBERTSON

  • Karen McGee

    Way to go. I too was shocked by his comment. Thank you for standing up and standing firm. Scott’s one line comment said it all. I went through seven years of leukemia with my husband before the Lord took him home. That was 22 years ago and I still miss him really bad at times. We went through a lot, but we did it together right to the end!

  • linda

    my father and mother both had and have alzehiemers. my father died 10 years ago and my mother is in a nursing home.

  • WANDA HIZNEY

    we lost my sister-in-law (more like sister) just six weeks ago. And until she took her last breath, my brother kept her in their home.Never once did he ever think she was not here, because to US, she waasn’t.

  • http://lgalbraith@neo.rr.com Leanna Galbraith

    If Pat Robertson believes this, what does he think of terminally ill cancer people…This is so not biblical….This should ruin any ones opion of him…How sad….my best friend has alzaheimers right now, and i am so sad. I spend as much time with her as possible, because time is short. Her husband would never leave her side…how sad…..shame on you Pat Robertson..do you have a lady in waiting. Sure sounds like it….you actually make me sick….

  • Frances Wheeler

    Ken, This blessed my heart and I totally agree with your comments. My husband and I both lost our Moms to Alzheimers, but everytime we visited them, they might not know our name or who we were, but always knew that we loved them. The last time I saw my Mom, she thought I was her older sister and we all got a big laugh (in cluding my Mom) out of her telling the nurse that I was older than her! She always had funny stories to tell and as soon as she saw us, a smile always lit up her face! Such was not the case with my husband’s Mom. She had the blank stare and sleep a lot. Like the man said in your story, they didn’t know who we were, but we knew who they were and loved them unconditionally. Thanks for sharing your story with us. That is so sad think there are people in the world that feel like Pat Robertson.

  • Barb Robinson

    Thanks, Ken. You speak well for all of us on this issue. NY