No days are easy when you are this side of child loss.
There is the constant burden of sorrow and pain bearing down on my heart and mind 24/7. Then there are the little (and not so little!) everyday bumps along the road of life.
But sometimes it’s not a bump, but a mountain that looms large. Or it may be a sinkhole that opens up and swallows days and weeks before you even realize how much time has passed since you last drew a calm breath.
These past weeks have been like that.
From the night my mother was lifeflighted to the hospital until today, we spent a week and a half in hospital plus these past few days at home trying to get her stable, better and transitioned to a new regimen that will hopefully keep her reasonably well.
While every medical professional gave great care, the majority of responsibility is falling on my dad and myself. And it’s a huge adjustment for everyone. No more in and out to the field on the tractor. No more quick trips into town-at 2 litres of oxygen per hour it will take one portable tank just for the round trip.
Doctor appointments need to be carefully scheduled and routed to minimize time away from home where there is an unlimited supply of oxygen.
I am learning that elder care is a huge challenge-one I thought I knew (in principle, though not by experience).
I was dreadfully wrong.
Just like child loss, until a single call or event takes your world from “I’m in control” to “I have lost all control”, it’s impossible to understand.
There is so much to keep track of, to manage, to watch for, and to do that I honestly feel like my head is about to pop off.
Add random phone calls, doctor appointments, home health visits and (oh yes!) Hurricane Irma-well, you get the picture.
So here’s to all my fellow sandwich generation peers.
And here’s a special shout-out to the ones whose broken hearts already limp along because they are missing a child they love and are now caring for ailing parents as well.
May we all reach out to the only One Who can strengthen us for this journey.
May we speak courage to one another.
May we extend grace to ourselves because no matter how hard we try to pretend otherwise, we are human.