Becoming the “Caregiver”

 

This road you travel, it is not for wimps.  It’s not just the aging, it’s the losses–the many losses.

The man/woman you married can’t do all the things they once did.  You feel like a parent now.

They call you a care-giver–He used to mow the lawn, she used to do the laundry.  We

dressed up  and went out to dinner or even to church–now we put on the bib and carefully

spoon the pablum-like  meal into the mouth,–when it makes it there.

You promised to love, honor and cheerish in sickness and in health–Old age robs of

youthful zest  and energy, it robs of shared memories sometimes.  It chooses comfort over

intimacy.

So, you wipe the drool from his/her face.  You put the Poise in the garbage discreetly.  You

cut your  time short for visits.  You don’t travel as far, if at all.  A big excursion is to the

pharmacy and the doctor’s office.   The adventure is seeing if you can put the “walker”

back in the car as easily as you took it out.  You count the pills in your sleep and keep a

record of who took what  and when.

You change the sheets-alot.  You tire easily.  And so does he/she.  The passionate kisses of

youth become a peck and a comforting pat.

Sometimes, you do remember those carefree courting and early marriage days and it

brings mixed tears of laughter and grief for what was.

You give and give until it physically hurts–and wait for someone to take care of you–but

there is not one.  The kids are busy with their own lives and children–and so now, more

than ever, you lean on God.  He is THE source, He is THE  friend, He is a spouse to the

widow(er).  He calms your fears  in the night.  He gives you peace on the lonely afternoons

while the spouse is napping.

This isn’t how you imagined “growing old together”.  You envisioned riding into the

sunset with strength and joy. Two rocking chairs totally in sinc.    Resentment creeps in

and you feel guilty for it–

What you don’t know is that letting go of all the “flesh” and all the “world” is actually

making you stronger, more dependent on God and independent from others–it is just the

way it has to be–and you are thankful. You appreciate the laughter when it comes so

much more.  And you thank God for the sunrises, and the small treats, like a phone call

from family or a visit from a now distant friend.

You care for your spouse gently and lovingly while wondering who will take care of you?

And the Lord says, “I will  never leave you or forsake you”.  He is there in the midnight

watch  and He is there at sunrise.  And you learn, at the deepest level, “He is enough”.

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