Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Difficulties of Going Away

One of the difficulties I experienced as my husband’s caregiver was trying to transport my husband to places outside of our home. On May 17, 2009 I wrote the following: 

Yesterday at my husband’s suggestion we went out to eat. He so seldom wants to go anywhere let alone suggest it, so I readily agreed. It was very windy, however, and so we took the wheelchair. By the time I had wrestled the wheelchair in and out of the trunk of the car, gone through the buffet line for my husband and then for myself, and then basically carried on a conversation with myself during lunch; I began to wonder if it was worth it.” 

Sometimes my husband, Wayne, and I were invited to eat with some of my husband’s family. That was enjoyable, as it gave my husband and me a chance to get out of the house. Yet going out to eat with my husband’s siblings presented me again with the same struggles of helping my husband in and out of the car and into the restaurant.  When I saw other couples both in good health I was happy for them. It did make me long for those days when that was true for us also, however.  I longed for a “normal” life.  

Most Thursday nights we would go to our local son’s family’s home for supper and the evening. My son was always so helpful in getting my husband in and out of the car and into their house. First we did this with a walker. Later we had to use a portable ramp and the wheel chair. My son was always helpful when he was with us, but so often I struggled alone when we left home to go places. 

I always knew that there was a divine purpose for all that was happening in my husband’s and my lives. I knew all things would work for my ultimate good as a child of God. I knew I still had overflowing blessings in my life, but that did not stop the sadness in my heart at seeing my husband’s body deteriorate. It also did not stop the struggles of providing for my husband’s needs.  

I certainly did not choose the care-giving role that God had assigned to me those years during my husband’s illness, but I do know that God was with me each step of the way. As difficult as it was, I would do it again. I had to cling very closely to the Lord during those days, as I still need to do now. The Lord God had to give me the grace and strength for this role. He was with me in my unique struggles. He guided me, loved me, and forgave my many moments of impatience.  Dear Christian caregiver, the Lord God is with you also. He knows your unique struggles and heartaches. Lean into His strength. Trust His love for you.

(I will be away from my computer for a few days, so my next post will not be until July 12 or 13. Use this time to read some of the older posts. You can also use this time to order my book Dear Caregiver subtitled Reflections for Family Caregivers which is available at Xulon, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Links to the order page for my book at Amazon and Xulon are on right hand side of this page.)

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