When you care for someone with dementia there are numerous times that you find yourself tired and frustrated. The truth is, I find myself in this place just about every single day. I bet this is likely true for most caregivers.
My mother, bless her heart, repeats the same things over and over multiple times a day and even within a matter of moments. My responses start out genial and sane but toward the end of the day those kind responses can turn well, let’s just say, a little less empathic.
When we go out for dinner she worries constantly about forgetting her purse. One night I decided that we would not bring her purse. Exiting the driveway, “Did I bring my purse?” Driving to the restaurant… “Where’s my purse?” Parking the car, “I can’t seem to find my purse.” Entering the restaurant, I feel like telling everyone, you go ahead without me I think I forgot that I had some brain surgery scheduled for, glance at watch, yah… now. Can you sense my sweet turning to sour?
Throughout her life, Mom has been the consummate loving mother and hostess. Doing everything for those around her and wanting nothing more than for everyone to be comfortable and well fed. I feel so ashamed when I get crazed. She has no control over it.
The other day when I was feeling below par, God winked. Permit me to explain. You see… there is this little female finch in our backyard that has been hanging around rather closely lately. We noticed right away that there was something “special” about her. Her flying ability is severely erratic. You can see her aiming for her evening feeding at the finch feeder, missing, and having to land and regroup on the thorny, non-sturdy rose bushes. I could swear she gives us a look like “All good, I meant to do that.” Her feathers are matted and frazzled, giving her a disheveled look that kind of reminds me of how mom appears when I haven’t nudged her along to shower and change her clothes. This bird deserves a name, we decided on “Wanda”. Translated: “I ‘Wanda’ what that bird is thinking?”
Then, Wanda landed on our deck ledge, right beside us. Perhaps to say, “Hello” or just see what we were having for dinner. Hmm, I thought, “Why would you do that? There are six rather loud people out here and don’t you know this large white animal at my feet is considered a ‘bird dog’? Aren’t you afraid?” We decided she is most likely mentally challenged which has endeared us to her even more. So every evening we keep an eye out for Wanda.
Yesterday, Mom was out on her deck and the strangest thing occurred. Wouldn’t you know that little flighty finch perched on mom’s beckoning finger! Wanda sat right there on her finger for several minutes while she and mom bonded. Wild birds just don’t do that!
God had sent Mom a lovely, disheveled comrade that made us all smile and feel remarkably renewed! What He sent me that day through Wanda was a reminder. “Enjoy the innocence that I have put before you and in your mom and in this bird. The life I want for you is more than you can imagine and I have created nature to show you beauty in the world. Don’t get so overwhelmed that you miss it!”
This week, if you feel so inclined, share any “God winks” you have encountered in the comment section or simply journal one of your experiences so that others you know and love can benefit from it.
“I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“When someone’s lost, aimless and adrift
Take the time, give ‘em a lift
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery
But today, you can be their gift.”
“When God Winks at You” By Squire Rushnell
“Believe in God like you believe in the sunrise. Not because you can see it, but because you can see all it touches.” C.S. Lewis
“Nature is the art of God. Sir Thomas Browne
“Birds of a feather, flock together.” Proverb
Movie must see video: Beautiful Things by Gungor