“For when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” James 1:3-4 (TLB)
Awakening from a decent night’s sleep, I pushed ‘snooze’ to buy myself just a few more minutes beneath the covers before throwing on my workout clothes, grabbing a quick breakfast and heading out the door to the gym. I remember being grateful for six hours straight of good sleep. The serenity of my cozy space beneath the blankets was quickly invaded by the sound of Mom’s voice on the video monitor on my nightstand. I distinctly heard her say, “Oh, no! Oh no! Oh no-no-no!”
That’s usually not a good thing.
So much for the extra few minutes. I was going to be late for my class at the gym. Mom’s problems were simple enough to handle, just a bit time-consuming, and patience-exhausting, as the simplest tasks of daily care take a more generous slice of time than I ever dreamed before assuming this role as a caregiver.
When I go to bed at night, I can lay out my clothing for the next day and quickly throw it on in the morning without even turning on the light. I hardly need to give it a second thought. Repetition of this task over the years has made it second nature to me.
This second nature disappears from the mind of a loved one afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Now it is as if skills for independently dressing have reverted back to that of a toddler, needing coaching as to which item to put on next, where the arms go, and why we save the shoes until last.
Patience and kindness are key qualities needed in caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
Lots of patience and kindness. Today’s experience reminded me how much more practice I need in the patience and kindness department.
I believe God gives believers opportunities throughout their lifetime to grow and develop in these marks of every believer. The path toward growth in Christ that I am on at the present time is not easy, but growth happens in hard places.