Being the hands and feet of Jesus

As my dear mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s grows increasingly difficult to manage, it is becoming harder for me to leave the house for any length of time. While my hubby is very capable and always willing to help in many ways, sometimes the help mom now needs is very personal in nature. For this reason (and many more), it’s such a blessing to have a daughter who lives nearby who often helps her grandma when I need to be away. I recently had to take my brother to the doctor and the timing of the appointment didn’t work out for Beth’s schedule. Thankfully, my friend Rita was more than willing to help.

Rita – the hands and feet of Jesus

It would be my heart’s desire that caregivers everywhere had someone like Rita in their lives. Someone with the ability to read between the lines. A friend who puts their own life on hold in order to be a blessing. Seriously, if I post something on Facebook or my blog about being tired, I can almost guarantee that shortly thereafter I will hear the “ding” of an incoming text and it will be Rita offering to help look after Mom.

Just last week Momma was having a very hard evening. I had called hospice to let them know that she was having high levels of anxiety and breathing difficulties. Before I knew it, two hospice nurses were at the house helping me with her needs. Toward the end of their visit, I noticed a familiar look on Momma’s face and a slight slump in the way she was sitting. I told the nurses that it looked like Mom was going to faint. And faint she did – she slumped over hard and for a much longer period of time than her usual syncope episodes. Even though I’ve been through this several times now with mom, this one felt a bit different and, I must admit, this time was a little scary.

Unbeknownst to me, in the midst of the ordeal, my hubby Wayne put out a prayer request on our church’s Facebook group and several in our church family began lifting her name up in prayer.

We had a hard time getting Momma to recover from her faint and struggled to get her limp form into bed where we could better help her. I was so very glad to have two nurses there to witness the episode, help me care for her during the episode, and help get her cleaned up and ready for bed afterward.

Momma was now resting comfortably in her bed and the nurses were preparing to leave. I heard my phone ring. Rita called to see if I needed any help; specifically offering to come spend the night so I could get some much needed sleep. I smiled as I listened to her kind offer and quickly responded with my “Yes, please!”

As I said my goodbyes to the nurses and awaited Rita’s arrival, I offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God for sending TWO hospice nurses tonight and for giving me a friend like Rita – a friend who is truly the hands and feet of Jesus in my life right now.

Five Minute Friday: Searching for Home

Mom: “So, do you plan to live here for the rest of your life?”
Me: “Yes. We like it here.”
Mom: “Good! Can I live with you?”
Me: “Of course!”
Mom: “Good! I was worried about where I would live. Anmoore West Virginia is gone now.”

A sweet conversation from March 1, 2018, one year ago today.

Momma still searches for home. Day and night. When she isn’t sleeping, eating, or contentedly coloring, she is anxiously folding and packing her belongings in her purse, wrapping treasured photos in her blankets, looking out of her bedroom window – searching and very ready for her mom and dad to finally come here in their car and take her home. Home, in her mind, is somewhere in West Virginia where she was born and raised, and where the only memories Alzheimer’s has left behind still reside.

Momma is under home hospice care now.

There. I’ve said it. Hospice.

As hard as the reality of the need for hospice care is to fathom, I’m so very grateful for the extra measure of help the truly amazing CNAs and nurses are giving me in this home stretch of Momma’s search for home.

I’m not sure when she will go home. They say six months or less. I don’t think so. I don’t know when, but I do know it won’t be Arthur Peet coming to get her in the family car. And I know “home” won’t be Anmoore, West Virginia. Or Bridgeport or Clarksburg, either.

Momma’s trip home will begin with her heavenly Father coming to call for her. Her search will be over as she finds herself finally home in heaven with her Savior.

This post was brought to you courtesy of Five Minute Friday (hosted by Kate Motaung) and the word “search.” Writers set a timer for five minutes, free write on the word prompt and publish it on our blog so the whole world (well, our little corner, anyway) can read it! Learn more about the writing challenge at Five Minute Friday.