Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Driving Me Crazy

My days are a blur of late. But one bright beam has entered. I won't have to do as much driving every day, as other arrangements have been made for transporting my granddaughter here for me to babysit.

I love my husband (the one with dementia) and I love my granddaughter (the "real" child), but it's very hard to tell them apart when they're both in a car. I can stand one repetitive singer (the one in the carseat), but their duets are something else.

I try not to discourage their performances though, because at least it distracts my backseat driver, who sits in the front seat, from his constant and often dangerous driving instructions. (If I went every time he said the way was clear, for instance, I would have died a thousand deaths by now.)

Isn't that typical of our lives though? The hardest part about getting to heaven is all the driving it takes. This is what wears us out so much. I'm so glad that our God has offered to do the driving for us. But when I have to be at the wheel, I'm glad He's teaching me not to listen to bad driving advice from others. There's a time to listen and a time to tune out. God will show us the times.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What a Pair

We just finished the second "trial" week of babysitting for our 3 1/2-yr.-old granddaughter every day--all day (well, during school hours--her sister is in kindergarten now). This way their mommy can get some sleep and hang on to her new third-shift employment which she just started.

The biggest unknown factor was my ability to cater to the demands of TWO toddlers during the day. Especially when there's such an age difference in the two. I think you know of whom I speak. Mae is just barely out of the "it's mine" stage, but she easily reverts to it when Grampa repeatedly wants to play with one of her toys, and there's the question, at least in her mind, of when and if she'll get it back.

Then there's also Grampa's constant requests to "keep your feet off the furniture", "put your coat by the door", "pick up your dolly", etc., etc., punctuated with frequent calls to "come give me a hug" and "why don't you answer Grampa?"

But we are adjusting around here. Mae really does love her Grampa and most of the time they get along just fine. We have separate rooms for them to "play" in, and I do my best to keep them occupied separately, especially close to naptimes (either hers or his).

The bottom line is there are lots of grandmas out there, willing to sacrifice to keep their precious little ones out of daycare. I know I'm going to give it all I've got too. It's only for a short time anyway. Keeping in mind that they don't stay "little" very long makes it easier to bear. (Wish I could say that for Grampa, who's development seems quite fragile these days.)

It makes me wonder how God can cater to us human beings, as diverse and needy as we are. Thank heaven, He makes the sacrifice to keep us close to Him as our grandma, and reminds us that this time on earth is short enough to make it all worthwhile.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pill Panic

Don't know when I've felt such panic. The other day when we came home from the drug store with some new pain medication for Dean, I asked where the pills were. We had only been home a few minutes, but he announced that he had hid them. My heart must have skipped several beats when I immediately began every persuasion known to man (and woman) to get him to reveal the hiding place of his new powerful drug.

My first instinct for the hiding place turned out to be correct, but I didn't let him know that I had already located them in the top drawer of his dresser. I needed his willing compliance if I was going to be the administrator of this medication, a very necessary measure due to his memory issues.

And the "memory loss" argument finally won him over. By the next day, when he went to his adult day program, I had convinced him that I would put the amount of pills in the pill bottle that he needed just for that day, and hold the rest aside in another location (undisclosed to him, of course).

But then, I noticed that he was getting easily overdosed with the two pills he was allowed, resulting in slurred speech and being uneasy on his feet. So, I came up with an idea. A deceptive one, but necessary for his health and safety. I switched the few pills in the bottle to Tylenol. And if I felt he should have the "real stuff", I could give him one (just one) along with his daily pills in his pill organizer. (There's so many in there already he surely wouldn't notice one more.)

At one point I was wondering if my little "scheme" would be undetected. Because the Tylenol pills look totally different than the "real" pain pills. Different shape, different size. Would he trust me enough to accept the change without questioning the different-looking pills? Fortunately, I don't think he has so far even remembered that they are different. So, the crisis has been averted for this round.

Isn't it nice that our great God-Caregiver has the power and knows us well enough to give us substitutes when we need them? I pray that I can trust God enough to look out for my welfare, especially when my ability to make wise choices is seriously impaired. God has the situation under control, but we do need to reveal our "hiding places" and willingly allow Him to administer His will.

our trusty pill organizer, where one more pill won't be noticed

Monday, November 4, 2013

In My Heart

We were met this week with some sad news about a dear church friend who passed away. George may have been elderly, he may have had heart problems which were impacting his life quite heavily, but death always comes as a shock, doesn't it? You can prepare for a funeral, and have living arrangements for a surviving spouse in place, but you can never prepare one for the grief and loneliness that accompanies this most unwelcome of all experiences.

Dean and I both went to the visitation at the funeral home last night. Even though Dean has steered clear of our growing home church the last couple of years due to his dementia, I felt this might be a "safe place" for him to see some of his friends and express his grief to Virginia, since Dean knew the couple so well.

And he did a fair job of greeting every person there, even though he "recognized" many people he had never met, and couldn't remember the names of some of our closest friends. The highlight though was when he took Virginia's hand and asked to pray for her. It was a touching prayer and reminded me of the one he had long-distance on the phone with our sister-in-law after the sudden death of Dean's brother a couple of years ago.

Each death and funeral I attend is a painful reminder of what it will be like to lose Dean someday. I think what I will miss most will be his prayers. They may appear on the surface to be long and repetitive, but I try to listen closely, because he always surprises me with their depth.

The other night, for instance, he started out with the Lord's Prayer, but he made one slight change. He said, "...Thy will be done, in my heart as it is in heaven..." I'm sure this was not a mistake.

Help me, Lord, to accept in my heart whatever Your will demands.