See these faces? Another part of caregiving is to suck it up and put the positive game face on. One of these kids is delighted to be on the ride of his life! He is completely clueless to the perils that lie ahead. The other one is scared to death!
As caregivers, we are aware of the perils ahead. We have a glimpse of the hopelessness, the sadness, the overwhelming since of desperation that we will be confronted with. While we bare the brunt of the responsibilities of caring for our dearest of dearest....the Alzheimer patient is pretty much clueless of what lies ahead.
In the beginning stage of Jerry’s illness,he knew what was ahead and worried for me. Yet, over a matter of time, he became unaware that anything was wrong. His world became just fine. (sort of.) He had no idea of the emotions and responsibilities that I was shouldering. His world was clueless and thus, just fine.
However, dear friends, as a caregiver it is important to put the game face on...no matter how afraid we really are on the inside.
Yesterday, I went to visit Jerry. We had a precious time together in our church service. The songs were touching my heart so deeply as I watched Jerry move his lips. If I had let loose....I would have balled like a baby and melted in a puddle on the floor. It would have taken several mops to clean up the mess. But, I knew I had to put my game face on. Actually, my game face was one of joy. I truly experienced joy in the midst of the circumstances. Once the service was over, I walked Jerry out. Then, cluless that I was even there, he wandered on back to the unit with the rest of the “sheep”. My lips began to quiver. I hadn’t had enough time with him...sniff.
The game face HAD to go on. If he had seen me...it would have concerned him in a confusing sort of way. The game face had to go on...and the smiles with a wave had to occur.
It’s just what we have to to.