This is for the weary ones who sit alone in silent tears…thankful for the mercy of God to allow them to be the care giver to a loved one…realizing the blessing in the weight of a heavy heart…the kindness of God to allow them to bear the burden of love.
I have been in your shoes and I can tell you that the precious refining of the sacrifice of love and time will change you in ways that make you more compassionate…more longing for Home…more grateful for grace <3
This was written several months before my own father succumbed to the final stages of Alzheimers and aging in 2010.
I am particularly sensitive that one dear man in Washington state may be reading this and so to my dad’s little brother, I say …. I love you and I am so thankful for you and Aunt Ella Mae <3
It really is the end.
A wheelchair replaces the bow-legged walk down the hall. Sweat pants and sweat shirt replace the soiled pants and button down shirt with the inevitable pocket to keep his notebook in.
He isn’t angry, but he isn’t really happy either. Just in a fog. I think he knows me, but hard to tell. Trying to make conversation, his words are nonsense. He is embarrassed because he couldn’t swallow his medicine and now it is a wet spot on his shirt.
He looks at me, but doesn’t see.
It isn’t like I wish he was the way he was before. That wasn’t any better. Just a different kind of awful.
I don’t feel sorry for me. It hurts more than anyone can know, but I don’t feel sorry for me.
I don’t feel sorry for him either. It’s just another part of life for both of us. Another part that is hard and seems cruel, but it’s just another part.
In it are sweet things.
Things like a fall pumpkin he made in crafts. It’s obvious he had a lot of help, but still he thinks he made it.
When I tell him it is beautiful, and I really mean it because it is, he thanks me in his own way. Though the words make no sense, I can tell by the way he moves his head what he is saying.
When I think of how my mom was spared the pain of this, I can’t stop thanking God. I can’t think of anything but how thankful I am to Him that she never had to see this. I am thankful it is not my sister. I am thankful it is me.
When I told him I love him, he said “me too”. I asked him if he meant he loves me or he loves himself. He laughed. I am going to believe he got the joke and it made him laugh.
The laugh and the pumpkin are enough for today. God’s grace poured out for one more visit, tangible in a fall decoration on the seat next to me.
Tomorrow will bring another dose of grace for that day. Tonight the tears flow from my tiredness. Tomorrow will bring new mercies.
Hang in there precious care giver, loved by God.
You are the tangible touch of Christ and the ministry of His hands to one of His precious children…I pray today you know HIS ministry to YOU <3
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 The Message (MSG)