Here to Take Care of Each Other

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During the past five decades, Morton Kondracke has been one of the most recognizable American political commentators.
The independent-thinking journalist appeared as a panelist on The McLaughlin Group and co-hosted the lively televised conversations known as The Beltway Boys.  Now at age 83 he continues to write for the non-partisan Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call
But few knew the back story of Kondracke’s life.  In 1988 his wife Milly was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  Kondracke remembers:
“She had beautiful handwriting, and she was writing a check and couldn’t form the letter K.  It looked fine to me.  But she insisted that, no, there was something wrong. 
“Later she had a tremor in the little finger of her right hand, and then her foot would sort of wobble on the brakes when she was driving.
“She was given Symmetrel – which is a Parkinson’s medicine – by a doctor, and he didn’t tell her what it was.  But she called me at work one day, totally distraught and hysterical in a way that I’d never heard Milly before. 
“She said, you have to come home right away.  Something terrible has happened.  So I raced home.
“There she was standing in the bedroom with this bottle in her hand.  She said, ‘This is a Parkinson’s medicine.  I’ve seen Parkinson’s.  It’s a horrible disease.  I won’t be able to talk.  I won’t be able to walk.  I won’t be able to swallow.  I won’t be able to eat.  You’ll have to take me to the bathroom.
“’I’ll be totally dependent.  You won’t love me anymore.  You’ll leave me.’
Every one of the physical limitations that Milly dreaded came true.   She ultimately lost her battle to Parkinson’s in 2004.
But Kondracke did not leave her.  And he did not stop loving her. 
During one of the hardest times he wrote: “Multiple times a day I pray for help and strength and Milly’s deliverance.  I simply couldn’t do this without feeling that I was doing God’s work in a small way.  I’ve asked God innumerable times, So what is my purpose here on earth? hoping that he will add a new and grandiose dimension to this, which he never does.
“The message always comes back the same:  Your job here is to take care of Milly.”
No matter what we’re facing today, and no matter how silent God might seem, we can be certain of what he has called us to do.  “Love one another,” Jesus said, “as I have loved you.  This is how people will know that you are truly my disciples – if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). 
Our job, in other words, is, by God’s grace, to help take care of each other.