Sunday, May 10, 2015

Reversal of Roles

Today I helped my father bathe my mother.  I never imagined our roles would be reversed, but life is unpredictable.  It is a bit disconcerting to see your mother naked, exposed, vulnerable.  About mid-way through, it became easier, and as I told Dad, "You do what you have to do."  She is bedridden and can not do for herself.  Hospice sends a certified caregiver to bathe her five days a week, and Dad pays a woman on Saturdays to do the same.  Still, he is the PRIMARY caregiver and had been bathing her on Sundays.  Daily he is the one to change her, to get her food, to refill her glass. 

So, I had to put aside my own feelings and think of my father.  He is 87 years-old, and it is difficult for him to physically turn her and pull her up in the bed.  After we finished today, I told him that starting next Sunday, I think I can do it myself---to give him a break.

I am reminded of Ephesians 6:2:  "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land."  Also  1 Timothy 5:8:  "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

So, at this stage of my life, this is my I spend my Sundays.  No, I am not in church, but I am doing what I am meant to do.  I don't know how long my parents will be here, and it is my responsibility to do what I can to help them. They have always been there for me; now, it is my turn.