Even Through the Night We Are Watched 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.
The Return To Home Today
As if I don’t have enough to think about I woke up this morning wondering what was going on in my …
As if I don’t have enough to think about I woke up this morning wondering what was going on in my under mind. You know, the deepest part of us that knows all. We are clever and crafty creatures that walk this earth. We can tell ourselves anything and if we say it long enough, we believe.
A good example is my looks. I know so many of you have said I look nice but I have convinced myself with plenty of practice that I do not look nice. It is sort of like being a cook. You get the bowl,(brain) together. You mix negative thoughts, a few pity parties and the lack of acceptance, and shazam, you have I am not pretty.
It is the same game for everything else. We can tell ourselves just about anything, but when we lay down at night and we go into deep sleep, the true mind is alive and well.
This is what I dealt with last night. I didn’t even go to sleep until 2am. I was tired, I hadn’t had a nap that day, but sleep came slowly. Oh, the mind was racing.
I was stressing over one particular problem I am having with another person. I was trying to decide how to make things right, get my point across and yet do it gently without hurting the other person.
Sometimes it just can’t be done. There are other people who don’t think about we as much as he/she. When you are facing that kind of person, sometimes bold truth has to be used or maybe a white lie.
So anyways, I was going over that like winding up a ball of yarn. I went to sleep with that on my mind and then two hours later when I should have been in deep dream world I woke up. Restless and wired, ready to get up, but not enough sleep.
I laid there for two hours fighting this. I refused to turn on the TV because I was afraid I would watch it. I forced myself to lay in the dark. I was going to win this one. I was going to sleep.
The last time I looked at the clock it was 5am. I woke up at 8:30am. I had things to do and my friend was coming between 9 and 10, so I got up. Looking at my face in the mirror I saw the red eye lids. I splashed cold water on my face. This helped a little. I brushed my teeth and got me a hot cup of coffee.
A tug and pull sort of war going on in my head. While I slept half-way my mind knew the real issue. Now that I am awake so do I. I had five days to revamp, getting ready for the next challenge taking care of Al.
My hands had healed from being in so much water and cleaners. I got more sleep than usual. I was able to sleep in an extra hour each morning. I stayed awake about the same time frame each night, but I wasn’t listening to the baby monitor.
Now it is going to return to the old schedule. I am happy and yet anxious for Al to come home. Hearing the nurse say they were feeding Al now slaps me silly with the acknowledgement that Al is getting worse, even when he isn’t here.
There is no pretending for the most part. Al is not doing any of this for extra attention. He is definitely ill and he very well knows each little thing he is having to give up in life.
I can tell people that for the biggest part I am doing fine, but am I really? Sometimes, not all the time, I do get tired. I do worry that I am not understanding what he is really trying to tell me.
There are times I do want to go to bed earlier than him. Maybe I could but I would sleep better if I knew he was asleep before me. Of course it would be easier to turn him on his side if I could just have some help.
So many little things and yet when it is all done and said with, I do it. I take care of Al because I want to, out of love, he is my brother. I am not rich, not even close, in fact I stress a lot about how bills are going to be paid, but so far God has made a way each and every month because our bills are paid on time.
But in the end when the mind meets day and night, I have to be as brutally honest and admit I am nervous. I am still tired, I am anxious. I know I carry a load bigger than myself, but until God sends someone our way to help here with Al, he knows that I will carry on.
Now that I have said it out loud, and I can see it on black and white, we, two are in agreement. I am calmer, I am still sleepy, but I am ready for him to come home.
The Sounds Of Silence
I know the reason
It’s called Respite
Needed for people
Who are caregivers
The air feels stale
I know the reason
It’s called Respite
Needed for people
Who are caregivers
The air feels stale
The walls seem bare
The sounds of
What is not
Normal I do crave
The ticking of the clock
Pierce my ears
My eyes are heavy
But sleep stalls
As I lay silently
Waiting to go to him
For he needs me
But for now
I must rest
I must get ready
For the new day
He will once again
Walls to life.
http://dailypost.wordpress.com, Daily Prompt, DP
Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRANSFORMATION.
He slept in boxes. He slept under the bridges. He slept where ever his body found comfort once the sun set.
He had once been a prosperous man residing in the hot spots of Florida. He had built shells of houses and sold them to people barely out of the danger zone of bankruptcy. His ideal goal was that he charged enough in payments that in no time at all he had gained not only the up-front cost but the house back.
He would repeat this business to one after another. His pockets heavy his checkbook fat he was living high on the hog. He had a sailing yacht. He owned two homes. One in his home town and one by the edge of the ocean.
Drink and friends could be seen anytime of the day or night. He had made millions and even had made the cover of a national magazine. But when one does things for the wrong reasons, it is almost guaranteed life will stop and come and bite you in the rear.
And this did happen. A police family under disguise portrayed the perfect family for purchasing one of his properties. A couple of weeks after entering the home the legal system had everything they required to bust the sales man.
In no time at all the savoy business man lost it all. His homes became foreclosed. His checkbook became skinny. His pockets folded inside out. Friends deserted him, drinks went dry.
As the companies came to clean out his house he sat at his dining table and wept in to his hands. Soon there was a tap on his shoulder. They needed him to move as they were confiscating this table also.
Soon there was silence. Birds could be heard singing outside the windows. Children could be seen heading to school. He picked up his last luggage and opening the door stepped outside and closed the door gently behind him.
Not knowing where he was going his feet stepped one in front of the other. By nightfall nothing had changed and he had a taste of his first real home in a box. He had earned it. It was fully his, and it was paid for.
Sleep came with difficulty. He laid in his blanket-made bed and watched others standing over canisters of heat. Warming their fingers as fall was beginning to enter. As his eyes closed he was having visions of the people he had frauded. All night, each night haunting dreams of people holding their arms out, begging for mercy. Asking for their doors to be once again opened.
In the mornings he rubbed his eyes as tears had filled the pockets and grief over took him. Each morning he walked and hunted for food like a caveman looking for his family. Walking the streets, the only visitors were his own shadows in store front windows, he was lonely, down and out.
The first snow had fallen and he had rummaged through a dumpster and found a ragged blanket. Pulling the cover closer to his nose, he began to weep. He looked towards the heavens and pleaded for forgiveness. He admitted he was wrong. He needed to have one more chance to prove that he was worthy of living.
The next morning he was walking his routine streets and he saw a folded piece of paper. He looked around to see if someone had just dropped it. Seeing no one reaching for it, he leaned down, weary and tired, bloodshot eyes and picked it up.
Fingers fumbled as he walked over to the metal sidewalk bench and sat down. He opened it up and saw one simple sentence. Very few words but with great meaning. He looked up to the skies and the first genuine smile crossed his face. He looked down once again to read the words, you have been forgiven.
Rhino has made me aware of his routine. He only meows when he wants petted and this is about every waking moment he has. He naps under my bed through the day.
He eats a little in the morning while I brush my teeth and start the coffee. Then he pigs out after I go to bed at night.
When I climb into bed for the night he is laying on one of the bed pillows. He immediately wants petted. After he gets his fill he jumps down and disappears out into the living room. After about 20 minutes he comes back in and climbs back up on the bed.
I think he is telling me that the house is fine. He and I can go to sleep now. I go to sleep with his paw on my arm and my arm resting on him. But when I wake up in the morning he is directly under the bed on my side and at the head of the bed.
He takes his toy and his little comb and he cuddles them letting me know that he knows they are his. I swear the way he moves his head around his comb, he is actually combing his own hair. It is so cute to watch him wrap himself around these two items.
When I am petting him, he flops his big body from side to side, making sure I don’t miss one area. While I am petting him his tail is thumping the floor in approval.
I think he and Al will become therapeutic for each other. I know Rhino has been good for me. Not too quick not too fast, but just right.