But I could not get anything repaired because I was Betty's caregiver. I eventually reached the point I needed to turn my stress over to God! I prayed, asking God to carry all my concerns on a virtual alter until I was strong enough to deal with them. About a week later I had an annual checkup with my family doctor. During the exam she asked how I was getting on caring for Betty. My wall of silence broke and I dumped everything in her lap.
Well, she called Hospice in and people started showing up at my door! A Case Manager first, a couple RNs, Physical, Vocal, Occupational Therapists, and a Social Worker to name most. And the best one of all was a middle-aged woman with an eternal smile, a large yet gentle voice, a heart of gold and a hug for both of us every time she arrived! That lady did everything! She gave Betty showers, washed her hair, did manicures, and added a bit of make-up. She moved Betty around, changed her Depends, rubbed lotion into her skin, changed the bed linens. Then she washed and dried clothes, sheets, washed the dishes in between time of just sitting and talking with Betty.
And she ordered me to leave the house! I asked where I should go? She said, "I don't care where you go! Just get out! Go grocery shopping, visiting, go for lunch, take a walk; don't coome back for 2 hours!" I knew Betty was ini capable hands so I left the house. I didn't realize how small my life and world-view had become! And how badly I needed that 2 hour segment of freedom! During that time period I had a chance to think. I realized I had become frustrated and resentful toward Betty! I knew it was not her fault she was ill. But there it was!
Having Hospice help me changed my entire outlook as Betty's caregiver! She was no longer a burden but a joy to be around. The change was almost a miracle to me. I was, in time, able to pick up all my problems, concerns and issues from that altar and begin to deal with them.
Now I am thinking, I have written some inimate stuff here. I've admitted to being frustrated, resentful toward the woman I love. Shown weaknesses to whoever reads this. But I am sure some who read this article have had to deal with much worse situations than I had! And I would love to hear how you dealt with all the negative emotions.
My learnings were: First! God is never distant! In fact, the worse the situation, the nearer God is to be found! Next! God always has a holy place where burdens can be laid! It may not be a church altar per se, but a safe place none the less, a place we, when we are able, can come and pick them up once more and deal with them! Lastly! There are individuals and groups to whom you and I can go for help when we need it!
So when my mind is full, I turn to my Holy place! My virtual altar, holy and safe to lay down my burdens, thereby allowing me to clear my head and heart; allowing me to focus clearly on what needs to be done!
As Betty told me several times: Make a list Bill! In fact, make several lists! Then prioritize! What made her so smart?
Go iin peace to love and serve the Lord! Bill+