A dear friend and home-care aide gave me a little book today titled: Precious Lord, Take My Hand - Meditations for Caregivers by Shelly Beach. Here is a paragraph that resonates with me:
"The work of care giving should be reserved for the truly courageous or the blindly naive ( I think we fall somewhere between those two). It is soul-crunching, spirit-bending, body-wearying work because it is redemptive work. In care giving we reflect Christ's love: unconditional love in ways that will either change us or break us." pg 25
We have experienced lots of changes to the way we are prone to rush through life. We are learning how to put aside our agenda to accommodate Papa's life which has no agenda of his making. Sometimes that is very frustrating because life must go on, things need doing, or do they? We often need to stop and examine what is so important to us at the moment and ask, 'does this really matter right now? Can it wait? Does it even need doing at all?'
We are continually learning anew to live for the moment and not be anxiously planning out the month, week, or day. Yes, we do work a calendar and make 'tentative' plans but we always keep in mind that at any moment our plans could be and often are, interrupted or changed. This has not been an easy lesson and I don't pretend to have mastered it. I hope we are getting better at it.
One more quote, from A Promise Kept by Robertson McQuilkin:
"Ours is a day of passionate pursuit of self-fulfillment. And the folk wisdom of twentieth-century America holds that fulfillment can be found only in freedom. So, if some responsibility or commitment, some relationship or value shackles, you have a moral obligation to yourself to break free.
But it's a fantasy. That doorway to freedom and fulfillment may turn out to be the doorway to a stronger imprisonment. I've watched in sadness as many friends and acquaintances march through that doorway. The new bondage may be subterranean, below the level of consciousness even. But such a person has broken one set of shackles only to shut herself or himself off from the soaring freedom of experiencing God's highest and best. He who preserves his life, affirming himself, will lose it all, said Jesus. Only the one who says no to self-interest for Christ and the gospel cause can ever find the treasure of true life - freedom and fulfillment in Christ. But we don't seem to get it." pgs 34,35
I'm praying that we are 'getting it' and I can't help sensing that this care giving journey we are on is but a piece of a much bigger picture.