Today, I had the privilege of attending a fundraiser luncheon for our local Hospice organization. The Hospice board is trying to build a Hospice house here on the crystal coast. The speaker was Nicholas Sparks, the famed author of The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Choice, Night in Rodanthe, and many more popular books. (turned movies).
Not only did I learn so much about the hospice program, but I was motivated to keep on dreaming.
Jerry actually qualifies for hospice care even though his death is not impending. I sat next to a hospice nurse who briefed me on numerous Alzheimer patients who had specialized care plans written up for them, including social workers, volunteers, nurses aides, clergy, and a nurse. We interviewed last summer for the program, but I decided against it. Now, I think it's time. Jerry is needing more and more assistance, but mainly, needs more and more companionship.
Here's the trick. How does a caregiver keep on dreaming when they are caring for someone in decline? At what point do people lose their passion? I have a passion to paint and neither Jerry nor I would want that passion to wane. There must be purpose in it. As women, and primary caregivers of our families, how do we find balance between caring for others and becoming whole ourselves? It actually takes a healthy and whole person to be a good caregiver, wife, partner, friend, etc.
I believe it takes discipline and determination not to let "life" get you down. It takes a positive attitude of gratitude. It takes tenacity and energy. It takes problem solving and scheduling. It means accepting God's provision and allowing him to work through you. I believe God wants our highest for His highest. Otherwise, he wants us to be the best of what he created us to be...not to glorify us but to glorify Him.
I'm syked. Jerry wants to see me grow (and that's not at the waistline.) He loves it when people buy my paintings. Besides, when I thank Jerry for being such a good provider...he responds, "It's your turn now." (in his own Alzheimer lingo)
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest." Jeremiah 29:11,12,13.
So, caregivers....DREAM ON!