At integral times in our life we find ourselves at a crossroad that leads home. It’s the intersection that produces freedom and peace after hardship.
One cannot adequately describe the 24 hour care of an Alzheimer’s patient unless you lived it. And if you are one of the ever growing number of us, my heart goes out to you. 20 years of life changing commitment is something you can’t just walk away from… although some days you wish you could. The daily focus of staying in the game for the wellbeing of your loved one is nerve wracking at best and debilitating to you and your family at worst.
For me, processing through the aftermath was one of deep spiritual contemplation. Only at the point of death does the reality of emotion swell to allow your feelings to be even considered. Allowing them to surface and then deal with them one at a time are the first steps in healing.
You will find guilt as one of the first emotions… because you knew you weren’t always on you’re A game, some days you failed, and you let down your world with being human… But you have to forgive yourself. Once you can be kind enough to arrive at that place, healing begins. Life is full of blunders, let them go, accept the fact you did the best you could with the resources you were given, reliving a past that can’t be changed just entangles you from moving forward.
Then grief comes… it comes a little at the time, and some days just sitting down to face the reality of what you’ve been through brings a small level of healing. It is one day at a time. You start to find a freedom that hadn’t existed before. Where there is sadness for the loss, there are precious and sweet memories. You start to remember more of the good times and realize there are less thorns and more roses in your garden.
Life is precious, a gift from our heavenly Father. Our responsibility to that fact is a commitment to compassion and of un-ending love. No matter what we face in our journey, there is a way home. I’m finding that more and more each day… thankful for the time, the love, and yes… even the heartache. The molding and shaping under God’s hand produced depth, maturity and confidence that even through the most difficult days of my life, He sustained me. It is here I realized God entrusted me with this precious responsibility because I was the one for the job… and it is there I find peace.