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