I haven’t given up on the blogosphere despite the lack of posts for a “while”. About a week-and-a-half after my last post, it became real obvious that my mom needed someone to provide around-the-clock care for her. Our youngest daughter who is a CNA and my wife are taking turns providing that care and, needless to say, that has altered family life somewhat.
To assume that duty didn’t seem like a big deal to us; we were simply following the example set for us by all our parents and their siblings. Nursing home care for my wife’s grandparents and my grandmother was an option exercised only when it became medically necessary and not before. Until that time they were cared for by family members in the home as a matter of course.
But I guess we are the exception rather than the rule and that is really sad, and in more ways than one. We have some flexibility that other couples don’t – we have managed quite well on a single income for over twenty-five years and have no debt. What a blessed position to be in at a time like this, and to God alone be the praise for that; it is only by His abundant provision that it is possible. Dependence on two incomes would make it impossible for us to care for my mom which brings up the second point.
It should be no surprise that the “group dynamic” is very different depending on whether it is the daughter-in-law or the granddaughter caring for mom. She relates to them individually and that has taken some adjusting to in this situation. The nature of the care each provides is significantly different; they both can meet her physical needs equally well but the same is not true in the spiritual arena. My wife is equipped to provide a much different sort of spiritual support and also have it received by mom.
And what a difference that has made. The physical decline that occurred in a couple obvious “bursts” would have likely meant the end of her life had mom been in an institutional setting. But the encouragement and support of having a family member present 24×7 I believe is the major reason why we have been able to enjoy her for these last several weeks. From our perspective, it has given us an opportunity to get to know her and love her in different and deeper ways than would have ever been possible otherwise.
Has it been hard work and straining (or should I say stretching) on our relationships? Of course, but without question it has been and will continue to be a priceless treasure. My prayer is that those who know of and observe our present situation would not see us as some sort of heroes because we’re not. I pray, rather, that they would be stirred to do the same for their own loved ones if God provides them with the opportunity.
Persevering by His grace,