By "default" and choice she and he became care-givers 3 years ago (almost!). They took a little old man and a little old lady (who they loved very much) into their home. The little old couple were tenaciously clinging to their mountain home - tip-top, 3-story, "isolated" location up and down a winding road and 10+ miles to shopping, church, etc. That wasn't a good thing! It was dangerous in so many ways! It was way past time for a new season in life!
The little old man has gone to heaven, but the lady lives on in her own reality most of the time. She has pretty severe Alzheimer's! She's not easy to care for. She gives non-compliant new meaning. She can't remember that her life partner with whom she shared a rare and beautiful love for over 70 years is gone - at least not for more than a few minutes. Sometimes she can't even remember how to sit in a chair. So, care-giving is pretty intense!
Recently I had a front row seat on this action. I was amazed! NOT at how difficult this care-giving reality is tho' it's all that and a bag of chips! NOT at the unrelenting 24/7 immersion in care-giving even with respite support from aides and at least one sibling one day a week and monitors and friends! NO! What amazed me from the top of my head to the soles of my feet was the unconditional love poured out in that home hour after hour, the patience, the joy in the serving! It is a beautiful thing!
Care-givers are a special "breed"! It's usually a life that happens! It is intense! It is often lonely! It is heart and hand exhausting! It is taking the road less traveled! It is walking the servant path!
My front row seat overwhelmed me as I watched love in action - cleaning body fluids, patiently waiting and helping and doing. selflessly being a servant for a day and then getting up tomorrow to do it all over again and more beside - a list too long to name!
She said to me recently, Any of us would have done this just the same. I had to honestly say, NOT ME! I think I would have crashed and burned long before now! I can hardly wrap my mind around all the sacrifices - trust me - they are HUGE!
This is uncommon service with uncommon love and commitment down a path less traveled all to the glory of God and for love of a mother (and father)! I pray and marvel and help in such small ways but I'm not in the daily trench finding strength for each moment! I'm left whispering, To God be the glory and a huge thank you! He and she are my hero servants! Thank you for showing me Jesus as you walk this less traveled path!