Blessed Discovery

This Easter weekend has been a good one: Friday I took the day off from work, went to the hair salon, leaving there with just enough time to find a great parking space and walk into a church service moments before it began. The service was amazing, and I thanked God for allowing me to attend. It was nice not to have any phone calls or messages from anyone, and enjoy a peaceful evening.

(I have to say something  here before continuing. I realized how negative my reactions have been towards my mother, mainly being frustrated, which was visibly shown on my face and in the tone of my voice. My mother noticed it and didn’t hesitate to tell me, but I already knew. I asked God for help in this area.)

Saturday was met with sleeping in for a change, getting exercising done, and making plans to run errands and get shopping done. For the most part I stuck to what I had on the list (with a few unplanned purchases at a store I should not have been in), but got everything and got home. But before I left, I stared at the phone. Should I call her to see if she needs anything at the store, I thought. Part of me wanted to answer that question with a resounding NO! You have planned an evening of cooking an Easter meal and do some baking while watching the  Villanova basketball game. I decided to call her

She told me to do what I wanted to do and while I was out she  would make a list. Somewhere in that conversation she though that meant she was going to the store to shop, while I was thinking I was going to the store to get the items for her. When she called she told me she was on her way out to meet me. For what? I said. the conversation continued, and frustration entered the conversation like an old friend, ready to wreak havoc. We met and left at 6pm to go the bank first then to the store, where she spend the evening going to each aisle to make sure she got everything, which takes time. My evening of cooking was not going to happen. As I waited for her to come to the car something happened to me, something different:

1. Is it going to kill you to do this? Answer: No.
2. As you wait in the car for hours, what can you do to pass the time away?                   Answer: I can write something for the blog.
3. How do you feel right now? Is this really such a big deal like it’s been in the past? Answer: Actually, No…
It was then I realized there had been a change in me. I wish I could say when this inner change took place in me, as I wanted to know what happened that caused this rather peaceful, tranquil type of inner solution to take place. The overall answer was I knew this answer was not of my doing. It was God’s blessing bundle of patience, peace, and grace with a tinge of mercy for good measure, pressed down and shaken together with the other gifts.
To caregivers everywhere I have said before we have to know our limitations when being in caring mode. But more so than that, before frustration rears its ugly head in any situation, pray for God’s input in you, allowing God to be involved in all situations, big and small. You too may make a discovery and open that God-provided bundle of immeasurable gifts you so need.
We left about 6:15pm and made our way home at about 9pm, just in time to drop off the mother load of groceries, and turn on the tele as the Villanova game just got underway. Another gift bundle: meat in the oven, the game was fantastic (‘Nova won!), and the baking will be completed tomorrow morning.
Happy Easter to caregivers and their loved ones everywhere…

 

Grateful for Greatness

Surfing the ‘net I found an article about a young woman named Lizzie (Elizabeth Wolf) who left where she was living in another city, moving with her husband back into her childhood home to be a full-time caregiver for her parents. Two parents. Like me, she noticed things they were doing that wasn’t right, like calling and singing happy birthday to her when it wasn’t her birthday. People at her mother’s job noticed she would just stare out the window. The more of the article I read the more reflective I became. I identified with (though she was married and her husband was with her) her experiencing loneliness. She missed her life of doing things and being with others. The constant asking of the same questions I could identify with as well.  Her parents’ struggles with dementia became her struggle, feeling like their parent in the process.

But here is the kicker that really got me thinking: she has been a caregiver since 2010, the year both parents got diagnosed. Six years of losing sleep and wishing she had more. Six years of wanting to get away and enjoy life but couldn’t. Six years of making decisions on their behalf. Six years of helping her mother bathe, teaching her how to sleep again, wrapping her leg around her mother as a way of keeping her steady, and on and on.  Soon to be six years. ..and I’m belly aching over the past 5 months. Whew! I felt like a spoiled brat. I more fully understood what a friend of mine meant when she said to me “you’ve got to suck it up.” I got teary eyed as I thought about Lizzie, and prayed for her as I asked God to give her strength but to forgive me for the way I had been acting, sometimes justified, other times not.

Here’s another thought: throughout this reflective time I realized God is with me, despite how I feel and act. His faithfulness remains steadfast regardless. For that, I am grateful. Great is Your faithfulness. Thanks be to God for your greatness.

Note: Follow Elizabeth Grace Wolf’s blog: upsidedowndaughter.com