Even Through the Night We Are Watched Over


Forget the toothpicks, put a way the splash of cold water. Get on your knees and ask the almighty God to do the difficult task that you can’t do. What is it?

Well my friends, Al never fell asleep last night until almost one in the morning. At two, four and five am he had me in his room. He was asking for pain medication and to be turned over.

When you are reaching the stage of nearing sixty, you can’t help but take a quick over view of what your heart is going to do after suddenly going from resting to rolling over a two hundred and fifty pound male.

I don’t actually think Al weighs that much any longer. He feels lighter but still, the heart is quickly in action. It is among these times before I grab the draw sheet that I quickly ask God for his blessing of power and control to turn Al over.

He can’t seem to be able to lift his cup, so I quench his thirst and massage his legs and then tuck him back in. I give him a quick rub on the arm asking him if he needs me for anything else. He quietly says, ” Sorry sis, sorry to wake you up. No, I don’t need anything.”

Of course I tell this gentle giant that it’s alright. It is no problem, this is what sisters are for. Then I watch through the glow of the white Christmas lights the tears once again start to fall from his eyes.

I lay my head on his shoulder and grab his hand and tell him it’s alright dear brother. Everything is going to be fine. God is in control of everything we do. Then I stand back up and pick up his head and move it in a more comfortable position on the pillow.

I roll up a pad and place it between his legs because his legs are in contraction. This will cause great sores from skin on skin plus it makes it hell to try to spread them in order to change his brief.

He is crying and his nose is running. Between soft sobs I can make out the words of how sorry he is that he woke me up. He explains how he doesn’t want me to tell him everything is going to be alright, when he knows himself he is getting worse.

I am forced to listen to words of how he is ready to die. I don’t know if God would approve of this or not because I hold no title, but I rested my head back on his shoulder and I grabbed his hand and held it. Then I prayed with and over Al. I am sure I must have sounded like a minister of sorts. God if you don’t approve of me pretending to be a preacher, I am sorry, but I have to bring comfort to a man in great pain and need of meeting you face to face.

I waited until he drifted off to sleep for another short session and then I stood back up and quietly walked out of his room. For me, hearing the old Hospice doctor tell me Al will be here for a few more months doesn’t cut it.

As I see the changes in him in this one week, I paste my vision of my brother’s eyes looking into mine into my memory box. I am never quite as sure anymore if I will see them open or not.

I walked back into my bedroom where I got a scolding from Rhino the cat. He was telling me it is still dark outside and I am supposed to be keeping him company while his fat fur ball lays there and snores. Yes, Rhino snores.

I smoked a cigarette thinking about how much more will Al’s body contract before it is finished and I remember back to the many patients I have taken care of. What a struggle it was to try to bathe or change them. I remember fingernails contracted so bad that the palms of their hands were bleeding.

I let a silent few tears slide then I got back out of bed ignoring Rhino and got on my knees and asked, ” Dear Lord, I know it is too early to early to get up, but I am wide awake. I am asking you to  hold my eye lids open for a while and let me speak to my friends on the internet. Then I will try to get a few more winks of sleep before Al calls out to me again.

I have three and a half hours before the helper arrives. When she gets here I may sneak off to my room for a nap. It will be empty of Rhino as he will be on Al’s bed guarding him for the day.

jesuslookingdown

40 thoughts on “Even Through the Night We Are Watched Over

  1. We are all ministers Terry, the most we can do is pray over those who need it, you are doing God’s will, and you are helping Al. You are in my prayers! God bless you!

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  2. God bless you and you are walking in His strength and grace-you and Al both. Blessings come in different ways and you and he are being blessed at this moment.
    Rest and know you are both in the hands of the Father and what is to come is in His hands.
    Use that time when the helper is there to sleep. I do that when my hubbys care givers are here during the day.
    Napping is essential for me.
    Hugs and prayers.

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  3. It is just as you say, The Lord is watching over you both, guiding and enabling you Terry. My prayer is for the Lord’s grace, strength and wisdom during this long walk of faith. Lord bless you my friend.

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  4. How you do it… Truly, God only knows!

    Never have I met someone as determined and in control of their emotions as you Terry. Watching from heaven, but settled perfectly in your heart are most likely two loving parents who are very proud of their daughter for taking such good care of their son, your brother.

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    • Oh bless you Dianne. Those words are not just simple words to read, they touch me deep inside my heart. I am hanging on but I will never be too weak to not walk to the end of the road with Al. Thank you my friend

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  5. I echo what the others have said, it is said where two or more are gathered in His name…you praying over Al makes two. God hears you Terry and the lesson here is love for your brother in this his journey as painful as that is for him physically and you mentally and physically. God is with you , may He continue to bless you with strength, understanding and comfort. hugs my friend.

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  6. I am so sorry for the pain you and Al are going through. I know when my father was in pain from lung cancer all I wanted was for him to be out of that pain and I said to God Please if it means he won’t be here anymore then so be it. I know we will be together again. I know he won’t put on us more than we can bare that being said you are a very strong and blessed woman. You and Al are always in my prayers. I know in my heart he is there with the both of you.

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  7. Your story is so eloquently told by you and I feel so blessed that you are able to share your journey with us. Some day we will all have to borrow from your strength as he follow you down this long road. May God bless you both. We have wonderful sunshine but very cold here this morning. Hoping God will share some of that sunshine with you…there is nothing more calming to sit inside a sunny window and relax. Take care and enjoy that nap we hope you are getting.
    Hugs, Linda

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  8. there’s nothing wrong with expressing what one feels to one who loves us Terry and, you don’t need to be a reverend, priest etc, just a disciple of Christ gives us every privilege ! Terry dear, Al knows his body just as I do… I know I’m getting worse, too. These are facts I can’t deny and, lying to myself is absurd. Give al the freedom to see everything as it is, it is so much better. I love you so much!

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    • yes I am pretty sure he knows who I am. It is difficult when he is in a stare, looking no where. I just had a terrible feeling last night that he was dying, but he is still here, so I was wrong, which I am glad

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  9. Terry what you did praying over Al was what we are all called to do as His Disciples. You do not need to be a preacher to pray – your pray to share your heart with God. May God continue to bless you and Al with His presence. You both may not feel it right now but I know that God is with you weeping along with both of you. God wept with me and held me up when Tom died even if I could not feel His presence.

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  10. Dear Terry….. These days are so difficult for you. It is so hard to watch someone you love decline seemingly more each week/even day. I can still recall the feelings of helplessness and just wanting them out of discomfort and pain. May God be your strength during this time. Diane

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