23 June 2015

It Feels Like Treading Water, Only More Exhausting

The theme of this summer seems to be,
"Planning for the Future".

Because, currently in our family, there are five generations who are all doing that very thing in a variety of situations. Some of them are exciting...some of them are scary...some of them are just plain bewildering.

My grandmother is showing us what a strong woman she is by putting up with indignities that we flinch at and frustrations we rail against. 
At 92 years of age, she has always lived on her own, managing her own affairs, but this stroke has robbed her of independent movement and speech. 

She is an inspiration during her therapy by accomplishing tasks and gaining strength.  Her frustration at not being able to communicate in a manner to which we can understand her wants and needs is beginning to show.  

I saw a bit of temper today and was glad for it......because that is a sign of a fighter.

My mother and aunt are faced with the minutia of decisions in regards to her care and the future care she receives.

 It is exhausting, both physically and emotionally. 

My family: parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, husband, children, and even grandchildren have been making visits and sending cards and photos.  
Friends have been doing the same.

There's lots of love being poured out on Grandma.

I'm realizing that this century, in which we live, does not make it easy to navigate the elder years. Everything costs an enormous amount of money. Everything requires an enormous amount of planning and people and care.

Which brings me to the third and fourth generation.  Meetings and discussions need to occur and plans made not only for our own future care and unseen possibilities but also for that of a special needs child who will require supervision throughout her life. And this is the year many of these decisions must be made. Our decisions regarding our soon-to-be 18 year old daughter project us into the future to a time when someone other than us must care for her. This is where things get really bewildering, because we do not see the future. But, God knows the end from the beginning and He goes before us as He has always done.

An addition to the fifth generation who is requiring some planning is due to appear in the next two months or so....and so many exciting plans are currently underway. Those, happily, are fun to think about.

My thoughts are thrust backwards and forwards amongst these people who are bound together by blood and by bond.  From the excitement of an upcoming birth to the vague unease of what adulthood will look like for a dependent adult child.....to the knowledge that, gee whiz, there is an awful lot of planning and money that needs to be ready in case one finds themselves in a similar situation as my grandmother...

to a flashback of when I was a child....which happened this evening...when all together in my grandma's room was my great-aunt, my mom, my aunt, my cousin and myself...and Grandma, of course....just chatting about things that were happening. 

 I was suddenly in my grandma's kitchen sitting on the steps to the attic room listening to them talk....only in my memory I could hear Grandma making comments and replies. And I thought how I missed those days since we'd all grown up....and how thankful I was, because, here was Grandma's family all trying the best we can to show her our love and support as she does for us....

And so it should be.

And I smile every time I remember how she was vocalizing and showing her mettle this evening when she was obviously frustrated and trying to tell us something.

She's a fighter, that one.

And so must we be, also.

"Wisdom is found with the elderly,
and understanding comes with long life.
Wisdom and strength belong to God;
counsel and understanding are His"
(Job 12:12-13 HCSBFree)


  1. His grace is sufficient for you. I pray He gives you wisdom and strength for whatever is ahead. God bless.

  2. May God bless you and you family. trust Him.

    Your blog reminds me of the time when my grandparents were sick when I was 17 years old. Long time ago. In the Netherlands health insurance paid all costs. There's no worry about. But I remember the pain, the love, the confusion. The illness of my grandparents and their death was my spiritual birth. God used the situation to save my soul.

    I love all your photos.

    The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
    The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
    The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
    The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore

    Big hug. I am praying this moment for you.

  3. My dad is in those latter years where mobility is difficult. speech is sparse. It's profoundly difficult to watch your parent/grandparents being robbed of the vitality that you knew when you are younger, but caring for them when it's difficult is a real life demonstration on what it means to "honor your father and mother". I am now very aware that there;s no age limit on that command. Bless you for standing in the gap for your family!!

  4. Prayers for you and your family. What a sweet post and your love is obvious and clear.