We’re back in Emerald Isle now. Just got back last night. I’ve been waiting for my mood to change AGAIN, but it hasn’t. I honestly think I’ve resolved that fact that things must change this coming year. One way or another. In some ways, I got all the crying out of me a couple of days ago (actually over the last 12 years) and now I am able to be gentle and compassionate without emotion when directing Jerry around the house. Occasionally, I get a glimpse of his eyes. I use to cry when I looked at them, but now, I’m looking at them with compassion and I see his innocence and vulnerability. He is completely unaware of what he is suppose to be doing. I’ve turned on the Duke basketball game and he keeps coming to me and saying, “what am I suppose to be doing?” I direct him back to his chair and show him the game. He claps as if going to a game for the first time.
Earlier this morning, I received a call from Lester’s wife. Lester is the handsome gentleman, with the kind smile, from the daycare center in Raleigh. She and I talked for over an hour as if we had known each other for years and years. Lester has had two strokes and experiences seizures. He had never been sick a day in his life prior to his stroke. “G” has been his caregiver for at least 5 years and has, herself, experienced a heart attack since becoming his full time caregiver. We are the same age. She is “tired”. I’d say, if she is anything like me, she is exhausted and has given all she is able to give. She’s reached the end. We are both going to undergoing the search for changes in the coming year.
I could recognize the weariness in her voice, but when I asked her about her life “prior” to caregiving, her voice filled with energy. She was a successful trainer and software designer in the corporate world. I could hear “life” coming back to her. I encouraged her that WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE LIVING. WE MUST!
Tomorrow I am going to search facilities again. I covet your prayers on this. Even though I’ve begun this search in stages over the past year, I feel like I’m more prepared now. Pray for a warm, and caring environment with male residents; preferably men who have served in the military and have “like” interests. Pray for compassionate and gentle employees who are not there just for a JOB; employees who have a passion for caring in this industry.
It’s a perfect rainy day today. Perfect for painting and basketball. I’m off to paint now. Have a couple of children’s portraits to do by Christmas. This is going to require full time focus. Yikes!