Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Box

Before my mother became sick, she controlled the finances.  She told my father what he could spend and what he couldn't spend.  Relinquishing control of the checkbook was probably the hardest thing for her after becoming bedridden.  She has had a Kleenex box in the bed with her for months, but last month, he gave her a "piece of money" to squirrel away in it along with her lipstick and a few other little medicinal items.  This has made all the difference in the world to her.  She now has some control...and it comes from that box.  When I start to bathe her or change her and move the box, she says, "Don't lose my box."  She wants me to be careful with it.  I ask her where she is going to spend that little piece of money, and she just says, "I don't know; he gave it to me."

What happens when all the tissue is gone?  Her treasures are moved to the next box, and so it continues.............

Sunday, August 16, 2015

"Well-done, good and faithful servant"

Today after I bathed Mother, I brushed her hair, and she asked for her lipstick.  I gave it to her to hide away in her Kleenex box with her other "goodies." In spite of being bedridden, she wanted to look presentable, pretty.  When I teased her, she said, "There are no good-looking men around here."  I motioned to my father and said, "What about him??"  She laughed her little girl laugh.  The last few months she has resorted to that:  a little girl laugh.  Much of what she says is reminiscent of a school girl now, complete with a hearty, child-like laugh.

It has been five months now since Mother came home from the hospital with congestive heart failure under hospice care.  The last few weeks Dad has had a caregiver come in Monday-Friday to help her exercise her legs and get into a wheelchair for a time.  We are still waiting on the long-term insurance to kick in so the caregiver can be five days a week for most of each day.  Let me just say:  NEVER< EVER use John Hancock Insurance.   NEVER!

The last few days Mother has been getting mixed up or confused.  One night she saw someone who was not there, and today she thought Dad was six years older than she.  (He is three years and nine months older.)  There are other little things that she is confused about as well.  It's not Alzheimers, of course, but I attribute it to old age. 

When I came in this morning, she was hungry.  She had gotten mad at Dad earlier and refused to eat breakfast.  He had snapped at her over something she accused him of, but he had apologized.  He was hurt.  She had accused him of not doing something for her when he has devoted the last five months, indeed, the last 66 years, to doing just that.  He told her that he promised her all those years ago that he would take care of her the best he could, for as long as he could.  For the last five months, that is exactly what he has done.  He has stayed in that house, day after day, caring for her.  He has left on the few days when my brother or I am there each week. That is when he goes to the stores, not out to have fun. 

All I could think of each time he has said he will take care of her as long as he is able is this:  One day when he meets Jesus face-to-face, He will say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  Dad is the hands and feet of Jesus to my mother. He is the model of Christ-like behavior to his wife. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"When I meet Jesus"

This afternoon while I was washing up the hospital basins in Mother's bathroom after I had bathed her, I heard her whispering to Dad over her hospital bed.  It was something about her pink robe he had bought her last month for her birthday.  When I re-entered the room, I asked if that was what she wanted to wear when her new .part-time caregiver tries to help her get up.  In a low, shaky voice, she said, "You know, when I meet Jesus.  Do you think it is alright to wear that?"

I replied, "You can wear what you want."  Dad reminded her that my sister-in-law Carol had been buried in the matching pantsuit she had made for her wedding to my brother just four months earlier from when she died in 1975.  

I need to add that my mother is no closer to meeting Jesus than you or I, meaning that only God knows.  I knew since she came home under hospice care in March that she had congestive heart failure.  Somehow, she did not know, and I guess Dad had forgotten until the hospice office told him yesterday.  Now, in her mind she is closer than ever to "meeting Jesus."

Of course, she meant she wants to be buried in that pink robe.  It does not matter what we are "put away in" because when we do meet Him, we will be in glorified bodies.  Our earthly shell in that casket is for the mourners left behind because, in fact, those of us who belong to Him will never be more alive than when we meet Him.