Life can be such a mixture of joys and sorrows. Even in our most difficult moments there is always something for which we can be thankful. Caregiving for a family member with a terminal illness can be overwhelming. It helps to also remember the blessings in one’s life, however. On September 12, 2009 in the midst of my caregiving days I journaled some of my thoughts on this subject. Perhaps you can relate, dear caregiver. I wrote the following words on that day:
“Caregiving like the weather always has its ups and downs. Some days feel stormy, and on those days I feel I can’t do it anymore. On other days life tends to take on a certain rhythm and pattern and is workable. Life always tends to be a mixture of joys and sorrows. I am joyful in my faith and in my relationship with my Lord. I am thankful that I know He is always with me. It is difficult living with the reality of my husband’s disease, however. I am happy that the struggles of life are making me stronger in my character, in my faith, and as a person. I struggle with the fact, however, that it sometimes has to be so emotionally exhausting, and I wonder why life has to be so difficult.
I am happy with the fact that my husband seems to be gaining much more physical strength through his therapy. I mourn the fact, however, that his balance issues remain and that he is beginning to hang to the side more when sitting in his wheelchair. I find joy in the times we spend with our grandchildren and our enjoyable times with family. My joys are definitely better because of the sorrows.
I do weary of being responsible for so many decisions, however. When we bought a different vehicle this summer, I did all the talking and dealing. When there are telephone calls to be made or problems to be solved it is I who has to take charge. Soon we will have some major insurance issues to consider. That will be mainly my responsibility. We may have a chance to move from our apartment to a condo. There is a condo maybe in our price range available, but all the things to think about in regard to such a possibility are a bit overwhelming.
I love the good times my husband and I still have together, but I miss the way things used to be. I miss the times when my husband took more responsibility for these type things and decisions. I miss the person my husband used to be. Lord, help me choose joy and gratitude today. Continue to direct my path, as You have in the past.”
Dear Christian caregiver, never forget that the Lord is always with you each step of the way. Let Him be your source of strength, comfort, and joy; as you deal with the heartaches and sorrows of caregiving.