Thursday evening as I was with my neighbor who assisted in getting my mother off the floor, he told me in my mother’s eyes I am her everything. Here’s the problem with that thought process:

No one should be thought of as one’s everything.

Yes, I am her caregiver. Yes, I try to help as much as possible. But there comes a moment in time when there is just so much I can do…and can’t do. Here’s something else:

Caregivers must know their limitations.

To caregivers everywhere, as we have begun a new year, let the remaining 364 days of this year be filled with the knowledge that we are human like everyone else. We are not superhuman, though I am sure we try. Be continually cognizant of the fact that we must take care of ourselves. We can’t be much to those we care for if we are sick. Finally,

You are not your loved one’s savior.

If you were you would be God. Newsflash: You are not. But to the believer, there is One who is; and it is  not you, so take the pressure off yourself. Know that you are not someone’s everything, be aware of what you can and cannot do, and you are not savior. But you are encouraged that God can be your everything, as you continue in the everyday goings on of caring for others.

Hope this helps…


Psalms 20/16

One evening before I went to sleep I read some scripture, something to be a type of a launching pad for the new year. When I opened the bible wanting to read from Psalms it turned to Psalm 20. Here is part of what it says (NIV):

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices  and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. Psalm 20: 1-5

Then I read Psalm 16, and here in part is what that says:

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.” I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.  I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,  because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.                 Psalm 16: 1,2,7-10

Before the new year was born, there were a few hours of the previous year to experience. For one, earlier this week, I felt like something was going to occur, and not a good thing. Because of that vibe I was feeling, I believed something was to happen to my mother. For a while things had been going well for her physically and mentally. She arranged to get a ride to church on Sundays which freed up that day for me. The medical persons that came to her home was working out, and when needed I would take her to the doctor for her checkups. And then…

I wrote earlier this week about her falling, us having an argument, and later her calling me as though nothing had happened between us. Yesterday she fell again. She called me saying she needed help with getting up from the table, which was a lie, for when I got to her apartment, she was in the floor again and wanted me to come and help her up. Frustration (which seemed to be my close but unwelcomed friend lately) came out through my voice and facial expression. The more I tried to help, the more she instructed me to do this and that, and nothing was working. I told her I would go get the neighbor to help us, to which she replied “we can do this”. I replied we could not and I was going to get help. She said she did not want anyone here and she would lock the door. At this point, I told her I still have the key and she can’t get to the door and I left.

Once the neighbor came again like before, it took only seconds to get her up and to the walker and the neighbor assisted with getting her to the chair in her bedroom, and he left. Not much by words were exchanged between us. I moved some things around like the phone so she could be closer to them.  She wanted something to eat, which I volunteered to do for her so she could sit and at least attempt to relax, but that would be too much like normal: she had to do it.  I got my coat and left with her saying she would not bother me today so I could get some rest.

After talking to some friends who said they would pray for me, the tears came. In part happy that I do have a support system that comes to my aid when I need a shoulder to cry on, and tears of frustration, knowing I need to make more decisions:

  • Do I choose Adult day care or having someone come to my mother’s home on a daily basis?
  • I need to free up as much finances as possible as this will be another cost, and I know I have to discuss this with her, and if she doesn’t want to pay a monthly fee for an emergency, she will also think adult day care will be a waste of money.

I remember being at a crossroads before, but God sustained me. The above two passages of scripture are so appropriate for a new year and this present situation. As these two psalms are full of promises and hope, I extend the same to all who read this blog. Happy new year to all, and thanks be to God who extends himself through words that cultivate into promises for us, caregivers and anyone who needs hope…