Sakkie Parsons Email Ministry

Cornelia's Testimony

I really want to share with you a personal testimony which is about my wife Cornelia. But first I would like you to read the following section from the Word because I see something similar which has occurred in our lives:

2KINGS 20:1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” 

2KINGS 20:2  Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,

2KINGS 20:3  “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

2KINGS 20:4  Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him:

2KINGS 20:5  “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord.

2KINGS 20:6  I will add fifteen years to your life. ...”

Here then is the testimony about my wife:

I do not know exactly when it started to happen but I can certainly remember that I was able to identify it very clearly near the end of 2010 that Cornelia became very forgetful.

We then went to our doctor and the doctor wanted us to consult a Neurologist, but my wife did not want to. When I later reflect on those times, it occurred to me that she was afraid of what she might hear.

In 2011 it became very, very grave. So much so, that she sometimes felt disorientated and at more than one occasion, as an example, for a short time could not remember where she was in the town, but she did not want to consult a Neurologist.

So in the middle of 2011 it became so grave for me, that I insisted that she consult a Neurologist and our doctor referred us, according to our doctor, to a very good Neurologist. We went and saw the Neurologist on the 23 August 2011 and for a couple of hours undertook some intensive tests on Cornelia.

At some stage the Neurologist came to me in the waiting room and placed her hand on my shoulder and said to me: “Mr Parsons we are still not finished, but there is a problem.”  My daughter, who was with Cornelia the whole time while the tests etc. We’re being done, came to me at some stage and asked if I did not want to go and sit in the car where I could make myself more comfortable. Which I then did.

It, just to show you how thorough the Neurologist was in her examination of Cornelia.  When everything was done, the Neurologist said she would phone us the next day with her findings.

On the 24 August, it was approximately 5 minutes after 10, my phone rang and it was the Neurologist and she told me, that Cornelia has Alzheimer’s. It was the most terrible word that I have heard throughout my life, but then I heard something even more terrible. In answer to my question to the Neurologist on how long I will be able to look after her, she answered that it would be about a year.

I will never be able to explain, not even closely, about the destress and depression that came upon me.  In the beginning I, when I awoke in the morning, immediately thought about my wife and then I would just cry, with this terrible knowledge and despair in my heart, I began each day and  while  I stumbled through the day, every so often, I would speak to our Lord about this terrible thing that has come into our life. I also shared this with some of my Christian friends and when I felt I was being led, I also shared with other people to whom I send mail.

Through this everything about Cornelia was changing. She, the gentle woman which I had known throughout the years, started being impatient with me and sometimes also ugly.  If I try to explain my frame of mind, I would say: During the mid-seventies, of the previous century, when I realised that my eye sight was detreating rapidly, and I would shortly no longer be able to see my children’s faces, which then also happened, it was a terrible mountain that I had to climb, but our Lord was next to me and I overcame it.

When my previous wife told me in 1981 that she had found someone else, it was a terrible mountain for me to climb, but our Lord was next to me and I overcame it.

When they diagnosed me in 1997 with Melanoma Cancer and in answering to my question,  what are my chances, they told me, if they could not cure it, I would only have 3 to 6 months to live, it was a terrible mountain for me to climb, but our Lord was next to me and I overcame it. However this mountain, which I had to climb, the foot hills through which I just moved, to me it was already higher and steeper than any of the previous mountains I had to climb during my life.

I did not know how long I myself could care for my wife, but I knew that there would come a terrible day when I would have to throw the towel in, and it was a terrible premonition of things to come.

I was fortunate, when the heartbreak of the moment and the terrible knowledge of what lay ahead overcame me, that our Lord had allowed to be written for us in His precious the following:

ROMANS 8:28  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I will also admit that I do not always really understand why things happen in a person’s life as it happens. I also say as my great hero Paul said:

1CORINTHIANS 13:12  “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

I continually spoke with our Lord, crying most of the time, about these great tragedies and I also knew that there were many other people praying with me. Blissfully I remembered from the time of by Salvation the following:

JAMES 1:2  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

JAMES 1:3  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

JAMES 1:4  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I must truly acknowledge and at certain times that I told our Lord, that I very often struggle with this:

JAMES 1:2  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,”

That is how I stumbled through the days, later months, and I climbed the foot hills of the terrible mountain which lay before me, and praise the Name of our Lord, people prayed together with me.

With time it looked like my wife’s condition was improving, but in the beginning my humanity did not want to accept that, and I thought that it was just the medication which was postponing the eventual outcome.

The Neurologist, when we saw her at our last appointment with her, she said that people cannot predict how the illness will progress, but it will only be a matter of time.

My daughter who has some experience with this sort of thing because she had been very much involved with her husband’s grandfather’s care, who is now departed, said later to me one day that what she has seen of my wife, that we must get a second opinion. Because personally for me Cornelia towards the end of 2012, more than a year later after I had had to listen to those terrible words from the Neurologist, was in a better condition compared to when the first examination was done.

We discussed this with our doctor and he referred us to a different Neurologist.

On Tuesday 13 August 2013 at 8.30 the morning the new Neurologist started her examination and everything else which she thought was necessary.

At 12.30 that afternoon they were finished and the Neurologist said that she would contact us with her results. She contacted us a few days later and said that Cornelia definitely does not have Alzheimer’s, but a type of dementia and how wonderful that Cornelia could out live me!

Therefore what she had actually said to me was, even with her not knowing herself she had said, that our Lord had changed Cornelia’s condition and no-one knew how this immense change  had taken place, as I who love her and every day for a long time had to live with this terrible decline in her health.

I do not understand, as Hezekiah maybe also did not understand the 15 extra years he was given, Why did our Lord, after so many people had prayed, cure Cornelia of  Alzheimer’s and that she now should have a kind of dementia and arthritis.

I am not going to be so arrogant, with my little brain, try to rationalise how God Almighty works. Like my great hero Paul I am also thoroughly aware of:

1CORINTHIANS 13:12  “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

Our wonderful Lord, Himself, also tells us:

ISAIAH 55:8  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

ISAIAH 55:9  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

How wonderfully lovely to look at our current situation and mightily rejoice:

PSALMS 139:2  “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

PSALMS 139:3  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

PSALMS 139:4  Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.

PSALMS 139:5  You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

PSALMS 139:6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,”  too lofty for me to attain.

At that time it was so wonderful to experience the Cornelia’s condition had improved so much compared to 2 years before when the Neurologist said to me that I would only a year that I would be able to care for her myself.

After that when I awoke in the morning I no longer cried when I thought about my wife.

After that when I awoke in the morning, I remembered with thankfulness in my heart how today I must look after my wife and our situation and here I quote the older translation, because it is wording which is in my thoughts, when I think about my wife and our situation:

PHILIPPIANS 3:14  “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

PHILIPPIANS 3:15  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”

Therefore my friends. You must never fall into despair about your situation. You are a child of a King.  Just keep your eyes at all times on our Lord and go and read what Jesus’s explains in the parable of the unjust judge.

The section begins like this:

Carry on until the judge listens!

LUKE 18:1  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Then we read and I will share with you a true fact. I am not talking about ‘hear say’.

LUKE 18:7  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

LUKE 18:8  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

My wife and I enjoyed together a wonderful 2013 and also for the greater part of 2014 but she became seriously ill and ended up in the hospital.

After a comprehensive examination they found out, that she had a growth on her lung.

It was removed and she began to recover and later she was back home.

One morning when I awoke, I became aware that my wife was not able to speak properly and that she was confused.

She was again back in hospital and they discovered that she had suffered a stroke.

Now she is in a home in the section for the frail elderly but now I have my wonderful guide dog Pedro and walk every day to her and visit with her.

This is where we are at this moment in our life’s season.

I wrote in the beginning, that it is a wonderful testimony.

For me the wonderfulness of this testimony lies in, that in spite of all the attacks against us, I can still see my wife every day and I can hold her hand and say to her that I love her.

I ask again, that you who have read this, I ask in great thankfulness that you remember us in your prayers and many, many thanks that I could share this testimony from my life with you.

May your life be full of our Lord’s love, mercy, peace and joyfulness.


“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 1:24-25