Since my step-dad, Mahlon, came home on Friday I’ve had a lot of questions running through my head. Questions like: Will he recover from his stroke? His physical body is here, but where is his mind? How are we going to navigate all the costs associated with caregiving? And how is my mom going to find the time to take care of herself? As I’ve been thinking about these questions, I’ve been reading a book by Robert Lelux called The Living End. It’s an incredible memoir about his grandmother’s decent into Alzheimer’s. It’s full of humor, hope, and a reminder that you can find a silver lining in very sad situations. As I was reading last night, one of Lelux’s analogies stuck with me. He said, “I felt rode hard and put up wet from the sheer panic and pressures of the past several weeks.” That single sentence sums up how I’ve been feeling for the last few weeks. I’m tired, scared, and I want answers to questions I mentioned above.
I believe taking care of others is a kind and compassionate act, but it’s also stressful and tiring. I feel really bad for leaving my mom and going back to Portland. I know she will be okay and that she’s not alone. For example, we’ve hired a few caregivers to come into the house and help take care of my dad and my step-sister is only 45 minutes from the house. Plus, I’ll be spending a week out of every month in Red Bluff helping out too.
I want to control the outcome of my dad’s healing process, but I know I can’t. So I keep coming back to a small, but powerful piece of advice from my friend Chris. A few months ago he said, “You can’t control the situation but you can control your reaction. Just be love.”
How are you going to show love today?