|This photo reminds me that in each season of darkness we can expect brighter times ahead.|
The air has cleared; as Mom's caregiver I've made necessary adjustments (I always resist any change in her status and even after 12 years I will spend a fruitless time of insisting that Mom resume carrying out whatever self-care that she's stopped doing). Mom once again is relatively happy most of the time and I've become a little better at fielding her negative responses when she is not.
I understand my reluctance to accept each progression of Mom's Alzheimer's; each downward turn brings her inevitably nearer to the time when she will leave us, and I dread that final blow.
This last time of struggling to adapt to Mom's increasing needs has reminded me of an important truth in caregiving: don't make major decisions for a loved one's care while emotions are running high on either side. Give the situation a little bit of time, let emotions cool, and make the necessary, perhaps temporary, adaptations. Just as there are seasons in a marriage when spouses don't like one another but continue forward because they know from experience that the time of discord will pass, we ought not to throw up our hands and call it quits in the middle of a caregiving trial.
During this last time of adjustment I decided I couldn't go on and that Mom would need rest home care immediately. Each time I took this to the Lord, I'd hear this phrase, "Bide just awhile longer." I did not appreciate this, one might even say I felt angry with the Lord. I wanted to take things into my own hands, but of course a sudden decision and the upheaval surrounding an emotion-based decision would not have brought an end to the heartache I was feeling.
I am surprised by how much better things are now, and that shames me a little because I should have known, I should have known. The Lord just has such a precious way of bringing us through hard times.
So--this is a reminder for us all--if emotions are running high and you feel like giving up, say a prayer and bide just awhile longer. The Lord will bring you through.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14 KJV