I have set myself up for a new challenge. Do you ever talk about something and then it happens? Example, the car has been a good car, and then the next day, you see oil on the floor? I have never been in a car wreck, and later in the week, you total the car? This week I have been talking about change. I have admitted I do not do well with change. If you are going to change my life, you have to feed me bits and pieces at a time, so I can get used to the idea. Slowly it sinks in and then I am alright again. If you spring it on me, I get pretty depressed, a short depression, my stomach hurts and gurgles, I just want to lie down and sleep. I have talked about it so much, I have been given two changes today. I should have kept quiet! We have a wonderful caregiver, who has been giving Al his showers since early fall last year. She also took him on social outings, usually twice a week. She took him out to eat, and to the movies. They went to church concerts. She also took him to his favorite places which were the antique malls, so he could find coca cola items. The social outings had changed in April. It was just getting too difficult to care for him with his weakness in walking, feeling it was too unsafe with just one person with him. I had to admit it, she was right. She and I decided it was time to give them up unless it was something special. The hardest part of that whole scene was breaking the news to Al. I could immediately see the sadness come over his face. He has always been very social. He loves being around others, speaking to all, cutting up and laughing. It was good for him to get a break from me and be with people more like himself. Everyone needs friends, no matter what state of mind we are in. Meanwhile, here at WordPress, I have made many friends. Good people, god fearing people, and sincere people. I have enjoyed my writings, and reading the comments and vice versa. People have helped me without realizing it to draw even closer to God, allowing me to depend more on him instead of my own. Trusting that God knows the right thing for me, and teaching me that I can not do anything without him by my side. Today, I had two challenges given to me. The caregiver that we both loved dearly, found a full-time job. I do not blame her. She has her own life to take care of, and knows what she needs financially. I knew that I could not afford to give her that kind of security, but I would have loved to. She starts next week, so her time with us is over. Usually, I would go into my short depression, and my stomach would knot up, and I would want to nap. Instead, I found myself asking what does God have in store for me now. What new doors was he about to open for me. Although, my heart bleeds for the loss of a good worker and a close friend, I have to say good-bye. The second challenge was Al. He does much worse with challenges than I do. He was napping when I received the news, so I had to wait to tell him. I did worry, I won’t lie. We have had such a calm day, I didn’t want it ruined. When he awoke and came out here, I prayed quickly for God to speak the right words through me so that Al could understand. I explained all, and told him that we had another caregiver that would continue to give him his showers, but the new caregiver would do them right before supper instead of in the mornings. Wow, a double whammy for him. Changed caregiver, and changed times. He looked at me and said nothing for about two or three minutes. I sat here praying, please God let him understand. Don’t let the tears start. Finally, he spoke. He said, she will probably work 7am-3:30. I said what? He said this is probably the hours she will work. She needs more money. I looked at him dumbfounded. He got it! He understood! Thank you God! That was it! It was said and over. He knew that the new caregiver would be here tomorrow evening instead of tomorrow morning, and the conversation was dropped. The next thing out of his mouth was, what is for supper? I smiled a huge smile at Al, and told him we both were going to miss the old caregiver, and it made us sad, but maybe we would be able to see her at times. I went to the kitchen to prepare supper. People cross our paths in life for various reasons. Some stay, some fade quickly. God places them here for reasons of his own, teaching us something through each person. I was taught by you to lean on God through this new change. I was taught by my closer walk with God to pray before I speak. Life is good, and it just keeps getting better. We have our rough days, but with God walking beside us, we are able to continue to move forward. Thank you God and bloggers for helping me to know who to lean on when there is a change.
I woke up to blue skies and a chill outside. God has truly made a beautiful day. I woke up late, and my brother was already awake, as I noticed his bedroom light was on. I poked my head in and said good morning brother, did you sleep well? He looked up at me and nodded yes.He was deep in turning the pages of his Bible. I have nothing to say negatively about the bible, just noting that ever since Al had the conversation with God, where God told him he would receive a sign when God was going to take him home, Al spends most waking hours in his word. If you remember from prior postings, Al is obsessed with coca cola. He spends many hours reading his price guide books and holding coca cola items on his lap and others are sitting on his bed waiting for him to pick them up. He has turned away some what from those items and I always see the bible in his hands. I can not even pretend to know what is going on in his mind. Nor can I even say I have any real feeling of understanding the conversation he and God had, but I do know at this point in his life, this is a wonderful thing. I want him to be able to cling to this hope that he has. I believe it carries him through each day. It is his to own and no one can take it away from him. He wanted eggs for breakfast, and I told him I would go get them ready. I have always bought him frozen breakfast items for breakfast, only for the reason that it keeps his independence. He fixes his breakfast on his own, and I believe this helps him to keep a hold on his pride. After his teeth were taken out Tuesday, he has been on a soft diet. Today is Friday, so I just knew he wanted me to quit making his breakfast meal and he would have his french toast sticks, that he loves. Today is the day, he can go back to his routine, but he said no, he wanted eggs. I am not sure if it is the eggs he really wanted, or the fact that this is another small way that I can show him I love and care about him. I think it is the later. I am finding that I may be wrong. He does want me to do some things for him. This is fine with me. I am the type of person, that I also like to feel needed also, so it is equal on both sides here. If you know anything about mental illness, you will understand what I am about to say, and if you don’t, one thing that is common with mental illness is routine. After breakfast, I went into his bedroom to change his bed sheets. This is Thursday, so we change bed sheets unless there is a death. It is what it is and there is no changing it unless you want arguments and tears, and I definitely do not want to be the one to cause this. He does enough of this on his own with his Parkinson’s. I notice that is dementia is ever more present each day, as there are books and coca cola lined up neatly on his bed. This starts at one end of the bed and continues all the way to the opposite end. It is as if he has already placed in his mind, his whole day, which book to start and end with. Which collection piece he would pick up. Al can tell you about an item he has, and he can tell you on what page it is found in which book, and has the complete details memorized in his mind, so I knew there was great planning in this. I reminded him that this was Thursday. Did he want his sheets changed or maybe I could come back later on in the day and I could do it then. He seemed a little startled, as he realized what day it was. I watched as he lovingly picked up each item, and I am talking about maybe fifty items, and placed them on the floor and in his recliner. I have always known about patience, but I have been taught by God the true meaning of patience, as I stand by knowing my coffee was getting cold, and I had not eaten breakfast myself yet, waiting for him to do what he needed to do. The time now has come and I take the dirty sheets off, and I start putting the new ones on. He tries so hard to help me. He grabs one corner to put on, but isn’t strong enough to do this and he falls into his bed. I tell him this is alright, I appreciate him trying and that I will help him. I see his face wrinkle and a tear start to fall, and I go to him and give him a squeeze. I tell him it is so important to me that he is still willing to help when he would rather be sitting or lying back down. He gives me a tiny smile. I make a deal with him. I tell him if he wants to take the dirty sheets to the laundry area, that would be a big help to me, and then I will finish his bed. He liked that. So the sheets were changed and all worked out. I gave him his privacy back, and left the room. I started his load of laundry and as I was at the washer I peeked in and he was very carefully, with much love, placing his precious coca cola books and pieces back on the bed. I swear they are placed in the exact order that they had been placed earlier. I will never be able to understand the mentality of his mind, but I know what is important to him. He is able to count on me and he has his love of his life, coca cola surrounding him all the day long.