Monday, August 2, 2010

Staying connected....

It's not an easy thing to do when you are a caregiver. Fortunately, the Lord has blessed my husband and me with some wonderful friends and family.

For years we went to a particular church and made lots of dear friends. There were always a few in particular that we were closer to than others. About 8 months ago, one of the couples we've known for 16 years contacted us and asked if they could organize a get together with some other couples at our home. They would bring the meal and dessert if I would provide iced tea. That started a monthly get together with 5 couples that we love dearly.

It has been such a blessing for us to see the people we once saw on a weekly basis back when we all went to church together. Our lives took different turns but through it all, our friendships remained close. (They have all left our former church too.)

The other thing I've started doing is asking friends over to come spend a few hours with us, drinking coffee and getting caught up. We are connecting, through Facebook, with friends from our past and it's been wonderful having people in our home again. Of course, it is a bit of work, and there is always the chance that I will have to call the get together off because my dear hubby is not feeling well, but it's been worth every little bit of work.

We left our church of 16 years about a year ago. We joined a new church, and even though my sweet husband and I are not able to attend, we have been so blessed to have our Pastor visit with us almost monthly, sometimes more often than that. We have been amazed that a Pastor with such a large congregation would take his time to visit with us. There is no way we are going to be able to contribute to the church in traditional ways. We cannot attend, Dear Husband is in bed for days on end and usually out of bed only for a few hours when he does get up. We cannot contribute by participating in activities sponsored by the church. We do not have much to give financially either. And yet, this minister meets with us, answers questions we have about our reading of the Bible and encourages us. He loves us and accepts us and constantly asks us if there is anything we need. Our answer has always been the same, we need fellowship and we are finally getting it.

I understand that these situations were not organized by me. I think I was afraid of being turned down, and honestly, there was a time when I thought I had nothing to offer. I felt so alone and, I'll admit, no longer of use to my friends. It seems to me that the Lord has done this work on our behalf and I am feeling more connected to the world around me. I think that I will always, as a caregiver, feel a bit out of sync with the world and all it's busyness, but at least I can feel connected to people who we love.

Finding people who will stick with you through the difficult days of caregiving is NOT an easy task. I can't go out with friends as much as I'd like. I can't participate in a lot activities because finding someone to sit with my husband is not an easy task. I cannot invest much of my time or energy into relationships, mainly because so much of my time and energy is committed to my husband.....the one who comes first in my life.

If you are feeling trapped by caregiving, reach out. Call up those friends, contact them and let them know that you'd love to see them again. It might just develop into a very special connection that both of you were needing.

1 comment:

Living on Less Money said...

Awesome post! I'm so glad that you are being blessed by the visits. It sounds like you have a wonderful pastor, too. Big hugs to you!