A Caretaker is defined as one who provides or gives physical or emotional care and support. In my family growing up, that was my dad. He has always been very generous with his time, money and other resources. He would always tear up as he told the story of how my mother almost died shortly after I was born and how he had to juggle his job, a newborn being taken care of my his mother-in-law and trips to the hospital which was about 20 miles away. He never regretted doing whatever it took to save my mother’s life.
Now the roles are reversed and my dad is the one who needs to be taken care of. He is not as good a patient as he was a care giver. He cannot reason like he did a few years back and seems to get caught up on the minor things of life. He can be very difficult to deal with.
Mother on the other hand has never been a care giver. She always worked while I was growing up and hired someone to watch my brother and I during the summers when we were young. She did not have much patience with us as kids nor does she have it with her grand kids! She has always been able to have things set up just the way she wants them and did not have much tolerance for those who didn’t come up to her standards.
During the past 6 weeks, my mom has exhibited a great amount of patience in dealing with my dad. Mom was not looking forward to the prospect of spending 24/7 taking care of my dad, but to everyone’s astonishment, she is doing remarkably well. The first week on her own with dad was rather rough, but she has been growing into her new roll.
Mother is not physically strong so staying on top of dad’s Physical therapy is not easy for her. She was relieved to have us there so that I could take over the Physical Therapy for a few days. The goal of this trip was to let her have some rest. Dad however didn’t let her rest much! He wanted her to do most everything and we had some rather trying times. He tied easily with all the activity of the kids. It was not easy to get his P.T. in each day, but we did manage to get him outside for some long walks.
The next trip to Nebraska will most likely be in July and mom has requested that I come for a longer period of time. She has some things going on that it would be helpful for me to be there. While we were in Nebraska we bought a summer pass to the pool – it was cheaper to get a pass than to pay for each person each time they go to the pool. I will be taking some of the kids each time as the serve to distract dad from some things. They also entertain him! The older boys are a great help when it comes to therapy and getting dad in and out of the van!
Continue to pray for my mother. She has high hopes that dad will get out of the wheelchair. It does not seem likely that he will be able to make this move unless he gets more aggressive with his therapy or God intervenes in a miraculous way.