These past eight years I’ve learned the truth of this statement: when God has a plan, we can trust that it is a good plan; and that He will help it to be implemented. It was His plan for me to become my mother’s primary caregiver, and I haven’t done the best I could, I’ve done the best that God can do through me. And so things have gone pretty well.
This is not to say that I’m not adept at blocking the Lord’s good intentions, and so I’ve written a few New Year’s caregiving resolutions:
1. I will not be jealous of my mother’s affection for the cat even though I’m pretty sure she likes the cat best.
2. When I can’t think of a word and my mother instantly supplies it for me, I will not lapse to morbid fears regarding my own cognitive functioning.
3. I will spend more time being grateful that Mom is still with us and less time worrying about when she will leave this world for the next. God is in control.
4. I will stop worrying about whether or not I will get Alzheimer’s. God really is in control.
5. I will exercise and watch my diet so that I can lessen my risk of getting Alzheimer’s, but I won’t obsess about it because God really and truly is in control.
6. I will think of new ways to make sure that Sandy (our respite caregiver) knows how much we appreciate her.
7. I will stop explaining to store clerks that the Depends I’m buying are not for me.
8. I will spend more time just sitting with my mother and enjoying her conversation, which is still witty and spiced with nuggets of wisdom.
9. I will waste less time feeling sorrow over what has been lost and more time being grateful for what we still have.
10. I will thank God daily for my co-caregiver extraordinaire, my husband, even though I’m pretty sure Mom likes him best.