I have been wanting to write, but have really been hesitant lately. I’ve been feeling pretty emotional, watching Mama lose ground pretty quickly, Bill staying back at our house while Dan is in Florida, and just being plain ol’ tired!
I don’t want to begin complaining. Complaining so often leads to discontentment, and I struggle with that enough already! I really just want to write it all out, kind of journal-like. Do you mind? If you don’t want to read on, I understand!
Mama went for several days without sleeping more than a few minutes at a time. It was so odd – she would be so tired, so ready to go to bed. The first night she called for me or Daddy most of the night. The other nights she just kept getting up and down, not leaving her bedroom, but not staying in bed. I wasn’t able to sleep those nights either though, because I kept expecting her to call me! She is sleeping better now, but I don’t think I’ve caught up yet.
Mama is getting weaker both physically and mentally. It’s really been sad, but also makes the caregiving almost nonstop. I have had people tell me that as long as Mama can “toilet” herself we were doing okay. Well, now I surely believe that! Mama is losing that ability and it is so difficult! I won’t go into details, but it is not pleasant for any of us! Mama is also no longer being able to get up out of a sitting position without help, which can be physically challenging for me. It is almost impossible to leave the room she is in, whether she is in the bathroom or just in her chair, because she often becomes frightened or disoriented. She wants to “go home” more and more often, and is not always easily comforted.
Jeanne and I are both taxed more than ever. One of the things that really frustrates Jeanne is that because of Mama’s growing needs, Jeanne isn’t able to take care of the house as thoroughly as she likes. Jeanne is by nature a very organized, orderly person. We recently had an influx of bugs and rodents (our sweet tom cat died last month!) into the house and had to have a professional exterminator come in, which meant emptying all of the kitchen cabinets and pantries. After the house was sprayed, Jeanne began cleaning and organizing EVERYTHING before putting it back. That is her gift – her joy, even! Mama really struggles during those busy times. She seems to enjoy the new activities somewhat, but gets lost and disoriented so easily when there is alot going on around her. It is also very difficult for us to get things back in order when it’s continually start – stop; start – stop…
Jeanne has been trying to come up with a plan to ease our task some, but there simply isn’t a perfect plan for the full care of a loved one! We’ve discussed taking turns – week on/week off for each of us – but if I keep my job, she would get the raw end of that deal since she would still have to come over daily on her week “off”. That’s no good! We’ve also talked about when/if the day comes that we are not capable of caring for Mama (or Daddy, but he is doing fairly well right now). We are trying to research places, finances, in-home aid, all those things. There is a lot of information out there, but every circumstance is different, so there is much weeding through necessary to find what is right for each situation. And time for that, much less brain power to grasp it all, is seriously lacking around here!
As I get ready to close the computer and go to sleep, I know I mustn’t go without saying that all of these trials have come to us having been sifted through the loving hands of our Heavenly Father, and I can without hesitation declare that His grace is not only sufficient, but abundant for us in the midst of it. There are times that I want to have a little pity party, or days of pure exhaustion, but without fail the Lord sends along a booster shot of grace at just the right time. Sometimes it’s a little nap (I got about 20 minutes today!); another time a word of encouragement from a friend (beautiful testimony from a breast cancer survivor and her husband today at church); the next time a date with my sweet hubby (Monday we got to spend the entire day together!); and always His still, small voice whispering comforting words in the midst of the storm! All I have to do is keep my eyes and ears on Him. He is always there; He will never leave me nor forsake me; nothing can separate me from His love!!
I am closing the computer, then closing my eyes. I am a bit refreshed just by writing tonight. Thank you for lending me your ear for just a few moments!
God bless your day!