On having done all

Photo 155The nurse from Hospice came for her weekly visit today. I began to tell her about things that were happening with my mother and I started to cry. She got up from her seat and came over to me, leaned over and put her arms around me. I felt like a little kid accepting comfort from this beautiful little woman from Jamaica. She told me that everything I was telling her was normal for her condition and that I was doing a good job, I felt soothed and much better.

It is easy to assign motives to a person’s action, and sometimes we are actually right, but there are also times when we have made the wrong judgment call; I want to talk about that for a moment and in doing so apologize for my own wrong judgment call.

I openly and freely admit that I didn’t understand why my grandparents were separated, kept in separate quarters, for over a year. I thought it was cruel and unusual punishment for them simply to make life easier for the caretakers. The part I was right about was that I am sure it did make life a little easier on the caretakers, but what I didn’t realize is that there might come a time when it is for their safety to be kept apart and if you don’t know of what I speak then I suggest you reserve your judgment for something else.

As a caretaker I find that there are times when nothing you do is the right thing, sometimes nothing is ever enough and that your love for the person you are caring for keeps you from being as stern as you need be, it is a feeling of intimidation to have to treat the person who was your disciplinarian with anything but obeisance but there are times when it becomes necessary. This is not a subject that I like talking about but in the spirit of helping someone who might be in my position I have to be honest. It is not easy to look in someone’s eyes and realize they deeply believe whatever it is they are currently obsessed with and nothing you can say will dissuade them from it. Let me tell you this, you are not a failure when you don’t succeed in stopping the sudden flood of tears or change the subject to get them off of a subject, or as I say it, to break the loop of whatever train of destructive thought they are engaging in. There comes a time when you have to put everything in the all-knowing hand of God, do the best that you can, realize that you are also fighting in a spiritual warfare, a fight for your own soul. How is that?

The person you are helping is not in control of what they are saying in those out of control moments, the devil knows that so he is working on YOU. If you become discouraged, want to just give up, feel alone, abandoned and go on a real self-pity trip I can identify, been there and done that. When I get weak I pull out the arsenal of the Word of God, I try to prepare myself and a great scripture to stand on is Ephesians 6: 13-18 “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” In the KJV the last part of that verse says, “And having done all, to stand”. In order to stand when you feel like falling down, it can only be done when you know you have the full support of the heavenly angels. Psalms 91:11 “He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling.”  Hebrews 13:5-6 “Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?”

Finally no matter how tired we get we always have Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

If your assignment, like mine, is to care for someone who cannot fend for themselves, remember this, if they had a choice they would be out living a very different life, and remember that in their youth when they were strong they would never have imagined that their own child would have to care for them, so do it with love, and know you are not alone!

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