A week ago tomorrow it was Labor Day in the United States. I wrote some thoughts that day, and they are written below:
Today is Labor Day. Today I am spending the day alone. I do remember past Labor Days, however, which were spent with family. Every year over Labor Day week-end there is a county fair in my area. For many years my husband, Wayne, and I took our three young sons to the fair over Labor Day week-end. They loved seeing the farm animals and other exciting things at the fair. When Wayne and I became empty-nesters we went to the fair as a couple. The fair is basically the same thing every year, but we enjoyed walking over the grounds hand in hand.
According to my Facebook memories six years ago today some family members helped me take Wayne to the fair using his mobility scooter. By even that time Wayne was having serious mobility and other issues.
Then five years ago today was my mother-in-law's funeral. She had lived a healthy life until about two years before her death, but the last couple years she had ovarian cancer which finally took her life. She was 88 years old when she passed, but we still grieved her passing. Some of the grief that I felt at the time over her decline and death were mixed with my feelings of grief over Wayne's continual decline. I remember feeling so stressed the day of her funeral wondering if Wayne would be able to attend. The day before the funeral he had had a very difficult day. As it was Wayne was able to attend the funeral, and he had a relatively good day the day of his Mom's funeral.
Four months after his Mom's death, however, on January 2, 2011 Wayne also passed into eternity. So today I have some sad feelings. I am sad about the heartaches of seeing Wayne deteriorate in his body during the four and a half years since his diagnosis. I am sad about what we both went through. I am sad that he is no longer in my life.
Yet I am glad that Wayne, his mom, my dad, and other loved ones who have gone on ahead are with the Lord. I am sure Wayne is saying that his "light and momentary troubles" have achieved for him "an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." ( II Corinthians 4:17)
So whatever your care-giving heartaches may be today, dear caregiver, trust your Heavenly Caregiver to be with you each step of the way. I still feel heartache about those difficult care-giving days. I still feel loneliness without Wayne in my life. Yet I also feel the Lord's presence in a rich and fuller way. My faith has never been sweeter; nor has my love for the Lord been stronger. God has used our story in awesome ways. Persevere in the faith and in your noble calling of care-giving, dear caregiver. God is already using YOUR story as well. He will be with you each step of the way.