Seeing my husband gradually lose all his mobility and ability to care for himself due to his neurological disease was a very painful experience. During the course of my husband’s illness we did have a few opportunities for some memorable and enjoyable times, however. In spite of his lethargy at home my husband also seemed to enjoy these times.
In August of 2009 I wrote the following few paragraphs:
“Thursday through Sunday of last week my husband, Wayne, and I were at a motel in La Crosse, WI. My siblings and Mom from MN met us there. We were coming from the other end of WI, so it was a half-way meeting place for us. On Thursday afternoon and evening it was just Wayne and I, my Mom, and my two sisters. That was kind of nice as it provided some late night talk with my sisters and me.
Friday my bother and his wife and my two sisters’ husbands arrived. Among other things on Friday night after the others arrived we went out to eat, and then after supper they surprised me with a birthday cake and red roses for my birthday coming up on the following Monday. That was a wonderful surprise!
On Saturday we all went on a Mississippi River cruise. That was very nice, and it was wheelchair accessible. We even saw bald eagles on our cruise on the mighty Mississippi. The rest of our group went home around 5:30 on Sat. evening. Wayne and I went home the next morning. It was such a wonderful time being with my family. We did a lot of sharing and laughing. It was so good for both Wayne and me. It helps somewhat to forget about the problems for awhile and have some fun.
Wayne and I went to the local Pizza Ranch for my actual birthday on Monday. Also last night we went to my son’s family home for our usual Thursday night supper at their house. Two of my little granddaughters aged seven and five gave me a birthday present last night that they had picked out and bought with your own money from the dollar store. They were so excited to give them to me. They were pretty candles and book marks.
Our vacation and the birthdays surprises were a wonderful reprieve, but when one returns home reality sets in again with full force. There are so many issues with Wayne’s disease that make life a constant struggle. There are also blessings, however. Help me to concentrate on my blessings, Lord. Also grant me patience.”
Dear Caregiver, treasure the wonderful moments in the midst of the heartache and chaos of caregiving. Even after those treasured moments pass and you go back to the reality of the day to day of caregiving continue to look for the blessings. The realities of caregiving can be so harsh. There is another reality, however, dear Christian caregiver. That reality is the reality of God’s love for you.