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Mom said, “What If I Forget God?”

with 37 comments

Mom said, “What If I Forget God?”

Yesterday I cried. I cried about several things. I cried about things that I couldn’t fix. I cried about things no one can fix. (It may not be prudent or wise to share this, but I will.)

Sis. Connie Ballestero

My youngest sister, Nila Marxer, lives in Southern California. She has taken care of my 88-year-old Mother in her home for six years or so. Nila is an Angel sent from God to our family. Mom lives in an apartment inside Nila’s home.

My Mom’s health is not very good anymore. Her short-term memory loss has alarming worsened recently. It makes my phone calls to her, extremely painful for me. Mom has a problem of not remembering even the day of the week.

A few days ago, she wandered out of her room before midnight and went into the main living room. She turned all the lights on. At 2am, Nila came out of her bedroom and found Mom standing there looking around.

She said, “Mom, let me take you to your room and put you to bed.”

When they got to Mom’s room, Mom said, “Is this where I’m staying?”

“Yes, Nila said.

“Oh,” she said, “I didn’t know where I was supposed to sleep.”

That was unwelcome news. It was like one of your worst fears coming true. I am very grateful to Nila for being so loving and patient.

Last night while on a Skype video call to my sister, I got to see her, her husband Eric, and my Mom. Mom was all smiles.

With her voice breaking, Nila talked to me about Mom, with Mom sitting beside her. She talked about health issues that Mom was currently dealing with. Then she said that her and Mom had talked about her memory loss. Mom expressed her greatest fear to Nila.

Mom said, “Nila, what if I forget God?”

That statement ripped my very heart out. Of all people, my Godly Mother who has had the Holy Ghost for 80 years. She labored with Dad in the ministry for over 50 years.  And now, she worries that in her memory losses, she might forget about God.

I cried.

Nila said, “Marty, quote the first part of a Psalm and see if Mom can quote the rest of the verse.”

I looked at Mom and Nila seated in front of their computer and I started with Psalms 100.

I said: (Psa. 100:1) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD,

Mom said: all ye lands.

I said: (Psa. 100:2) Serve the LORD with gladness:

Mom said: come before his presence with singing.

I said: (Psa. 100:3) Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;

She said: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

I said: (Psa. 100:4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,

She said: and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

I said: (Psa. 100:5) For the LORD is good;

She said: his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

My tears still flowed.

In a day when so many are willfully forgetting God, my heart is overwhelmed by the fears of my sainted Mother.

“What If I Forget God?”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm

37 Responses

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  1. This made me weep! I never want to forget where He found me and His love to me. THank you!

    Scott Hall

    October 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

  2. Bro. Ballestero,

    This made me cry. I don’t think your dear Godly mother will ever forget God, but if she does, you can be sure that God will not forget her.


    October 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us!! She is a wonderful mother and Saint of God!! One thing is for sure …. God will never forget her!!!! Praying for you and your family!!! Love you!!!
    Bro. & Sis Luke

    Paula Luke

    October 20, 2010 at 3:56 pm

  4. I love your sweet mother. Your parents’ visits to Fresno when I was a young person in the late 80s and early 90s were highlights to me.

    I will be praying for you all.

    Kathy McElhaney

    October 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm

  5. My heart weeps w/ you. But I have to tell you, I still know Psalms 100 because Sis Ballestero taught it to us when we were kids~ and my kids know it too. Love to all of you~

    Ellen Gentry

    October 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm

  6. i cried as well. thank you Bro. Ballestero for sharing this!

    Lisa Warren

    October 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  7. My eyes are wet. There’s a catch in my throat and in my heart. I love this godly woman. She is, indeed, a saint. Thank you for sharing this.

    Johnny King

    October 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    • Thank you for being such a friend of Truth and of Truth lovers. I highly honor you. Thank you for reading.


      October 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm

  8. Tears are pouring down my cheeks!! The sadness of this post is great but the power of it is greater!!


    October 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm

  9. Dear Bro. and Sis. Ballestero, we weep along with you. My dad, who brought me up in the truth, had a stroke two years ago. Some things are not the same with him any more. I have cried for my dad, as you have your mother. We are praying for you and we truly care. Sis. Charlotte Mills

    Charlotte Mills

    October 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm

  10. Your precious mom has godly written all over her and that little old chorus ‘write Your Name all over my heart’ comes to mind. Love your blogs.

    Wyonna Smith

    October 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  11. My heart ached when I read this, you see my mom is eighty two years old, she received the holy ghost at age sixteen. She stood beside my father for twenty five years as he pastored a small work. She has dementia now and I miss the woman that she was. But what is so wonderful about my mom is she can quote scripture like no one else. She may not remember yesterday, but she remembers to remind me to stand and then keep standing.

    Angie Giamanco

    October 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm

  12. Dear Marty, I don’t have adequate words to express my anger and hate against Satan, that old Dragon, the Devil. He is the author of SIN, SICKNESS, DISEASE, and all things SAD and HURTFUL. I had some of the same thing with my Father. I kept him in my home for the last 3 years of his life. He was 93 when he died, and could remember things, and friends from his teenage years in Arkansas, but not something that had happened yesterday. I am praying for you all, I know the pain.
    Love, Dad

    Howard H Davis

    October 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm

  13. This is beautiful. We can never forget what our Awesome God has brought us from. I love reading your blog. I pray that your Mom’s memory will always be strong when it comes to God. I love you both.

    Margaret Hale

    October 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm

  14. Tears streamed down my face as I read this. Thank you for sharing such a personal moment in your family’s life. Though our bodies grow old and frail….we will be made whole and new again some sweet day. 🙂


    October 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm

  15. Thank you, Marty, for writing this. Mom is the kindest, sweetest, gentle natured person to be around. Sometimes she will stare off into space and start singing some old songs with all the verses – many which I have forgotten, or never even knew. The biggest joy of her day is for me to say, “Yes, Momma, there’s church tonight.”
    I hate this disease, but so thankful to see these precious moments in the dark times.
    BTW…. thanks for saying I’m an angel. It’s because you don’t live near me! LOL

    Nila Marxer

    October 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm

  16. Bro. Ballestero…I also am weeping after reading this…your mom is such a Godly..Precious…Saint of God…We’re praying for all of you’ll…

    Dorita Lollar

    October 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm

  17. As I was tearfully reading your post, I to have experienced this deep sadness as we speak with our mom. The scripture came to mind “Hide Thy Word in my heart so that I might not sin against Thee” No manner of Dementia will cause her to “forget” We might not be able to comfort her with these words as she will not even remember she said them to you but it is a comfort to us. What she has is embedded deeply in her DNA. It is hidden in the recesses of her heart. She will not forget. Before dad dies and he was oblivious to everyone or everything, all we had to do was ask him to pray and it was like a miracle moment. He would enter the Throne room as if you didn’t exist. It was amazing moments. As they leave this world and step foot into the other we will see such moments and cherish each one. Love you Marty and thank you for your kind, tender love to our parents. Thanks for sharing this moments as well. It really does help make sense of this terrible sickness and just the sharing relieves the anxiety of it all…..

    Ramona Yandris

    October 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    • I have a lump in my throat as I finished reading about Sis. Ballestero. She was such a blessing of encouragement to us, Ken and Mary Dyson, when we were young evangelists on the evangelistic field. (Bro Ballestero called it, “lipstick field)LOL She always made us feel so welcome and special.
      I share your pain as my dear mother experienced the same disease. She fit the same pattern as Sis. Ballestero. I pray very often that I don’t inherit that gene. I pray peace to your family. You all are special to us. Mary & Ken Dyson

      Mary Newsom Dyson

      October 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      • Thank you so much for the sweet comments. We have the fondest memories of our times with you all. love you.


        October 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm

  18. Weeping and praying with you Elder.


    October 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm

  19. This is so heart-wrenching,I sobbed when I read this.I can only imagine the mansion god has awaiting your precious mother.It might even be right next to my precious moms.I dont think Ive ever met you,but I know & love Ramona & Nila dearly.I was very young when your mom & dad used to come preach at Rev.A.L.O’Briens church.But,I still can fully recall the kindness that emitted from the both of them.Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Rhonda Hammond

    October 21, 2010 at 2:18 am

  20. That’s how my mom Sister LuDean McKinnies started with her memory loss. Going to church was her life, she loved to play the piano for Christ Temple. Before she was always trying to get me to come to church…now it’s me and others that’s trying to get her to come. When she does come she loves it. She can set down at the piano remember & play all the songs for that service. She still loves and praises God. It’s just getting her to leave the comfort of knowing where she is to some confusion at first, but once she’s at church she’s ok. Thank God for my sister Pat just like Nila for being there for mom.

    Jim H. McKinnies

    October 21, 2010 at 8:02 am

  21. Thanks so much for sharing this. I am so touched by this, but somehow not surprised that this came from this godly woman. She is indeed one of the most, if not The Most christian ladies that just shines with the love of God. I love Sis. Ballestero so much, and I will always treasure every nugget of truth that I have received from her. I pray for you and your family during these days, but know that God will be with you all. You are so blessed to have her still with you for so many years. God bless you and your ministry, Bro. Ballestero.

    Nelda Kyzar

    October 21, 2010 at 8:16 am

  22. This was a blessing to read even though this could happen to us too. I took care of my grandmother who had it, till my mom and my aunt forced me into putting her into a nursing home. She too remembered how to play the piano, and pray & repeat verses. My heart was broken as I was still so young and remembered my gramma bringing us kids up. She would act so embarrassed why I had to bathe her…and it would just bless me that I could do something for her. God is love, and there is always a reason! Love, SunnySkyJan

    Jan Keen

    October 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

  23. I remember being in service with your parents as they preached in Lansing, Mi., pastored by Marcia’s grandfather, Hebert Starr. I remember your father preaching and your Mom singing…I remember her presence “filled the room.” She was dynamic and spoke very kindly to me during their time in Lansing. I can’t imagine your pain, just know that your parents impacted 1,000’s of peoples lives. Only eternity will reveal what true, Godly, and how wonderful your parents are!

    Bob Stephens

    October 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm

  24. I remember when your Dad was going through this yet you could say something and the fountain would open up. That treasure he hid in his heart was still there. God bless your godly Father & Mother. You have such a rich heritage.

    Steve Epley

    October 21, 2010 at 10:50 pm

  25. if this is the same Sister Ballestero that I had the oppertunity of meeting years ago than this is a great lady of God. I remember Brother and Sister Ballestero going to Las Vegas and also I remember them at camp meeting in Santa Maria. I remember thinking that just looking at them “they had a royal look ” about them. Sister Ballestero wont forget God because she has God living in her heart and she also has royal blood flowing thru her veins! i saw sister Ballastero a few years back in Sanbernardino Ca and she is still one of the sweetest Godliest Ladys that I have had te privilege of meeting,,,,,,All of the Ballesteros are Godly Christians…I am saddened ….But she has the word and Her living God deep in her heart. God Bless!!! We love you!!


    October 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

  26. It has only been in recent years that I have been around your mother much–and even then not too often. I said to her once, “Sister Ballestero, I feel cheated in that through most of my years, I did not have the opportunity to know you.” I definitely feel that way.

    Thank you for this beautifully presented piece. I weep with you, your family, and other friends.


    October 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

  27. This was an AWESOME post!!! Thank you!!!


    October 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  28. Bro. Ballestero, our dear pastor’s wife, Sis. Featherstone is dying of Huntington’s Disease. Not a day goes by that I don’t cringe when the phone rings. She can no longer walk or do anything for herself. Her heart is slowing down and she sleeps alot. Most of the time she looks at all of us as if she no longer knows who we are. But when it comes church time she cries if no one is getting her ready! And in the presence of God I have seen her lift the one hand she can still control a little and whisper the name of Jesus or Hallelujah! When you know God you never forget him. My heart is sad for you and your family and the thought of losing Sis. Ballestero but I don’t believe she will ever forget God and He definitely won’t forget her! With love,
    Crystal Smith

    Crystal Smith (Morris)

    October 25, 2010 at 11:59 pm

  29. My husband read this to me and of course we cried together. I have not forgotton the teaching and wonderful example that Bro. and Sis. Ballestero were to us. I am so thankful for them.As I listened to this story I said Sis. Ballestero will never forget God. Even if the mind can’t remember at times the heart will not forget. She has the Lord in her heart and will never forget. It made me think of the song, It’s in my heart this melody of love devine, It’s im my heart since I am His and He is mine,……. No she won’t forget.It’s still in her heart. We love you all. Lord bless Nila. I agree she is an angel.

    Donna Morris

    October 30, 2010 at 12:39 am

  30. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I can very much relate to your words. My Mother is going through something similar to what you describe. It is truly heartbreaking. When I think of her faith in God and the many prayers she has prayed, through the years, it reminds me that the Godly influence of our parents and grandparents lives forever. May God bless those who have paved the path before us and been such Christian examples. They may not can remember the day of the week or even who we are, at times–now, but God has not and will never forget them! May the memory of their example inspire us to NEVER forget God!


    November 7, 2010 at 10:24 am

  31. I did not have the blessing of ever knowing your lovely mother, but this story moved me immensely. I cried thinking about how your mom loved the Lord so much that she was afraid of forgetting him in her final illness. Oh, that we would live so near to God as she did; that even if we should lose every other mental capacity, we will not forget Him! May she rest in peace!

    Mrs. Marsena Cook

    November 17, 2012 at 6:16 am

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