I came home from my daughter’s birthday celebration at the beach. The dog was barking, the men were working on the roof, but worst of all my mom, who had been on Coumadin, was bleeding heavily from her surgical procedure. My daughters and their teenage friends were all eyes as to what was going down.
I had a moment wherein I got to choose how I would show up in the moment. I chose a way of being called graceful. I had my teenage daughter take the dog for a walk, I then had my younger daughter and her friends go find a menu to order some food, and I tended to my mom. When I was washing the blood off her hand, there it was, an incredible fullness of joy is the only way I can describe it. Fullness of joy.
It was a light in the room that was bigger and brighter than anything I could ever hope for in my life. This fullness of joy visited me again when I was with my dad the night of Hurricane Sandy.
It was the first night of the hurricane, the lights were out, and the heat was off. My dad always slept through the night; however, not this night. The aide went home to secure his family and it was just me, my mom, and my teenage daughter exactly the way it was supposed to be. I heard my mom crying out to God, please help me I can’t do this anymore.
I went down and she had just finished changing my dad. It was 1:00 a.m. and he soiled himself badly. She could not get his diaper on no matter what she did. I put flashlights all around the bed and then my dog went stir crazy barking and running circles around the lights. I almost tripped over him. The dog crazed, my mom crying, no heat, and no light – and there it was that fullness of joy.
The light in the room was so bright that it was impossible to believe in those few moments that the power had gone out. The fullness of joy had taken over the room and lit it up the luminous darkness.
I knew unequivocally that I was where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be no matter how dark the circumstances. Dad was 90 and both mom and I had a struggle to roll him over and change him. He was immobile at this point in his life getting ready to make his journey home very soon.
I cried when I spoke of this incident a few weeks later to my empowerment group and said that I could not do this anymore. I literally broke down, but I did not break down in the moment it had happened. I felt joy.
Exhaustion the next day seeped through my bones. I never wanted to go through that again. I took care of my dad through the hurricane with my mom. I went out to my car every day and plugged in his nebulizer. Every night I learned the dos and don’ts of how to run a generator that came miraculously on day 5 of the hurricane. I fought my panic disorder tooth and nail. Through all the stress and exhaustion, I still hold onto that one moment because that was a gift for me. It was the fullness of joy, the presence of God, letting me know that it really never is all that dark. He is always there with me. I could have chosen fear – but God gave me another choice – joy.
So now I’m turning back to who I truly am, letting go of all the nonsense and embracing my role as contribution to the elderly in this life. I want to create this site to show up as a help and a benefit to other caregivers, a place where raw emotions are not only allowed, but expected; a place where elders can feel the contribution that they are, through their “Pearls of Wisdom.”
God will always deliver to you what you need, and will reveal His purpose for you, as long as you are willing to receive.
You are not the victim of your dreams
You are the creator
So that means not sitting around waiting for “it” to happen
It means creating “it” to show up a little each day
In order to dream of it, it’s necessary to
…Think of it
…Speak of it
Do you want to read the rest of my experience caregiving for Dad during the storm, then click here…