Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This past month has seen a slight progression in my Dear Hubby's illness. It seems that he is having more and more days of "I just don't feel good." It seems to me that he is spending more time in bed, less time on the computer and just generally feeling tired. He is taking Aleeve each night now to help with his aching legs, his tailbone and hip pain. Not fun for him at all!

You know, this is what I've been talking about. Just as you get settled in your routine and things are going along smoothly, you have a change in your loved one's illness. Something doesn't seem right, or maybe it's just a progression. Oh well, he and I are dealing with it.

I recently had two friends send me brochures about a caregiver's conference coming up this month. I've been before, and as I read through the brochure, I realized that this conference was not for me.

It seems that most caregiver conferences, sites, etc. deal with caring for an aging parent and/or someone with Alzheimer's. This conference does the same. I'm grateful for that because the two friends who sent the brochures are currently dealing with their mother/mother in law who both have Alzheimer's. But what about those whose spouses are young....relatively? What about those who care for someone with physical disabilities? What about those who are caring for spouses, younger children and parents all at once? Yeah, I didn't think so. There just isn't much out there.

I recently spoke with some ladies from the church who came by to visit. I have had a difficult time dealing with all this because I was unprepared. I long to have a mentor, someone I can call and ask for advice. I mentioned to the ladies that I wish there was someone in our church who had walked the road before me, could illuminate the path and give guidance....and there is no one. Talk about feeling isolated! That's when I was told that there has to be a first. There has to be an adventurer who takes the unknown path, clears the way, draws the maps, points out the pitfalls, etc.

Well, honey, that's not me. I'm a follower, not a leader. I take direction well, I can listen and learn. But, please, don't ask me to lead!!!

Yes, I am on the journey into an unknown area, but along the way I am finding places to rest and nourish my soul. I've found people who walk the path beside me to keep me company, I have diversions to occupy my hands and mind while I rest. My food? The word of the Lord. I have found nourishment and refreshment in the words of my Father.

The road will be long, the path rocky. Beset with pitfalls, dangers and loneliness. Some days will be dark and the rain will fall, but I have hope..... while I walk the path, I can rest in the knowledge that Someone walks with me and carries me.

I don't have to be an adventurer going into unknown territory. I have Someone to follow. Sure, I'll still seek out advice from others, but I know that ultimately it is the grace of Christ alone that will allow me to walk the path He has designed for me. Wow....HE designed the path, so HE must know the way. Following Christ, wherever HE leads.


WhiteStone said...

Paula, your faithfulness is an encouragement to me and I'm sure to all who read. Each of us has our own road and none of us knows ahead of time where the road will take us. But we do know you said...God designed each of our paths and He will go before us, lighting the way. Bless you this day.

Megan said...

I know just what you mean about needing someone who has been there before. It is so hard to be the first! I too am a follower. I think maybe that's why I am so encouraged by your posts, you are blazing a trail as well. :-) Love you!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Paula,
I belong to an organization called the Well Spouse Association. We are a non profit, volunter based organization focused on providing emotional support to spouses caring for partners with chronic illnesses or long term disabilities. Check us out on our website, Hopefully, we can offer you some support. Sincerely, Johanna Karr

Grammy said...

Dear Paula,
You verbalize so well the problems that I am running into as I care for my husband. It, too, is uncharted territory for me, but I know that He is with me along the way, providing me with comfort through many ways, one of which is your blog and comments on mine. God's word is also a comfort to me.
Thank you so very much.
Ruby TN said...

Paula, I'm a follower as well. If we didn't have Him to carry us through this valley in our lives, what would we do? I am a member of Well Spouse. (on line) It's a caring group of people. I have vented there lots of times. I think you would like it.

Betty J in OKC said...

My Mom's got dementia and I've been her caregiver for the last 8 yrs. Wish I could help you. I'm only 42.I *never* anticipated my life being like this.