I’ve noticed it’s best to write when the emotions and ideas are fresh. I lay here resting on the carpet of my parents house as I smell the Christmas tree that my dad prepared over the weekend. I’m writing this just moments after hearing these words, “I’ve lost my dignity.”
10:00am this morning I got a call from my mom. Since Thanksgiving, when she was in the hospital for pulmonary embolisms, she hasn’t been able to talk normally. Her voice on the phone sounded like someone screaming through a very soft whisper. It also sounded like a dog when it pants because it’s thirsty or out of breath. She said, “I need you to come over now. I think I broke my foot.”
Immediately, I rush to her house where she already has very little quality of life. To give you an idea, when I was in 7th grade I would be playing outside on the property with my friends. We would be playing mud football or messing around on the go-kart and my mom from the bathroom window on the side of the house would yell out (actually yell without the struggle these days) to us kids playing, “Be safe!” I remember one friend that used to come over that never went in our house because we were always extra messy, he would say, “there’s the ghost lady!” She’s lived in bed for over 18 years now.
I arrive to her sitting on the pot struggling to get up. She couldn’t put any pressure on her right foot. There she sits as I squat down in front of her and put her arms around my neck and shoulders. I perform a workout maneuver known as a “squat” and gently rise to a standing position with her hanging on me. I pull her pajamas up and put her together with one hand as I grasp around her back with my right arm. A bathroom the size of a fooseball table made it difficult to get her through the door. She hops on one foot as I’m giving her a hug to hold her up the next 5 feet to the beginning of the carpet to her bedroom.
At the carpet, she’s run out of wall to use as leverage. The walker and crutches that I got for her don’t suffice and her fight moves to the floor. She wouldn’t let me hug/walk her to the bed so I gently guide her to the floor so she can crawl the next 10 feet to the edge of the bed.
Mind you, prior to this she already couldn’t stand up straight. Her “normal” prior to this state consisted of her walking sideways with her back hunched over almost 75 degrees at times. Her “normal” meant that she couldn’t stand up straight. Imagine if you had been sleeping in bed for over 18 years, fallen countless times, had 3 cancers, been split open from your chest to ovaries with surgery, 8 herniated disks in your back, and a hundred other graphic things that you’re blessed not to have had/seen.
This is life.
She lays in bed with no energy to cry as she would like to do. She lays in bed alone as she has done for over 18 years. She lays in bed as I pray for her body, health, spirit, and soul.
Many times I’ve asked God, “Why?”
Imagine you were an only child with no immediate family in the area and a dad that works six days a week. God only gives us what we can handle. He test us to understand His love.
I firmly believe He has paved my life to be able to help a lot of people feel and understand His love. God gave His only son to us so that we could have free will to openly accept Him on our own.
Each day we make decisions between good and evil. Each day we need constant reminders like this for us to realize how good life is.
I’ve heard the phrase that God gives the good people the hardest time. My mom has the sweetest spirit. So many times, I wish my friends could meet her. She is the sweetest woman in the world and lives in so much pain everyday.
I write this for all the caregivers out there. I’m with you, I understand. As we prepare for the coming birth of Christ, let us remember that we are always in the holy presence of God. I love you.
3 thoughts on “A Prayer for Caregivers”
Freddie, you are an amazing son and I know your mom is proud of who you have become. You give me and so many others strength that I cannot explain. God Bless you and God Bless your mom!