The Art of Waking

shutterstock_570908494The music starts out softly like leaves gently falling to the ground or the waters of a brook delicately babbling through its destined carved-out path. Slowly that gentle sound graduates with a bit more intensity but never, ever gets loud to the point of startle. That’s how I like to wake up.

Waking my mother each morning is quite another story altogether. Pulling up the blinds and telling her what day it is and finding something positive to say about the weather outside wasn’t working. And by the way, this winter, it’s been tough to come up with “half-full” scenarios about the weather. I’ve been saying… “Well Mom, it’s a great day too, um, stay inside and sew or work on your puzzle.” I can’t blame her for wanting to stay in her cozy bed!

shutterstock_522124174I’ll leave thinking I had inspired her to join the world of non-slumber only to come back with breakfast and see she is still bundled up and dreaming about a cruise she took to South American in the late 40’s. (Another blog post on that one, for sure.) I try again… “Dad’s breakfast is getting cold because he is waiting for you to join him.” “Oh, I promise, I’ll be right there.” (I’ve learned that with dementia, promises are not always kept. Ya think?)

I had to figure out a way to wake her that didn’t require constant needling. So, I decided that if I couldn’t softly get her out of bed, I would have to “startle” her out. I know that sounds harsh but before you decide to boycott this blog, remain calm and bear with me. You see when someone is afflicted with dementia; too much sleep can actually hamper their brain function.

shutterstock_149488397I needed to be creative… “Hmm.. what does she love?” Dogs came to mind. Aha! I’ve got it! Enter labrador retriever, Lucy, the “kissiest” dog I’ve ever known. I’ll get Lucy to hop on her bed and kiss Mom awake. (Dad wanted the job but I told him that would be gross. Ha!)

Lucy has taken to her new job as “Nana-waker” with flying colors. Now, Mom wakes up each morning laughing and instantly invigorated. Her question every morning now is “How does anyone not love dogs?” This new ritual has brought joy for mom, joy for me to witness, and Lucy gets in her service dog hours. A blessing all around.

All this talk about sleep makes me a little tired which reminds me of how important it is for us to be awake and aware of all that God has in store for us. While the outside weather may be dark and dingy; the love of God is warm and sunny. However, it won’t come in through your windows unless you open the shades and ask.shutterstock_552618301

When choosing to solve difficult dilemmas in your life, Go to God first and dig in. His voice only gets louder. He wants to “love you” awake each and every day! Remember that this week and remember this verse.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“I love you, LORD, my strength.” Psalm 18:1

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” Mother Teresa

“This was, I decided, my purpose as a dog, to comfort the boy whenever he needed me.” W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles M. Schulz

Monday Must see Video: “Brandon Heath – Your Love / Christian Music”


10 thoughts on “The Art of Waking

  1. When I would visit, it was always a chore to get my 96-year old grandmother up in the morning. She too had dementia. I would do the same exact things as you initially did to get her up – sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn’t. My grandmother passed a year ago so this post definitely touched my heart. Thank you!

  2. This is SO poignant and sweet! I love how you, your family and your dog are caring for your parents-especially your mom-and for the reminder to wake up each day and open our windows to God’s presence!!

  3. What a light you are to all who know and love you – thank you for such an encouraging and uplifting message. Blessings to you, love, Jane

  4. Love this. Thanks so much for sharing. I will pass this on to my patients that are caring for loved ones with dementia. Have a blessed day.

  5. Oh Thank you for sharing this with me Christy! I can just picture your Mom waking up with dog kisses and saying “How does anyone not love dogs?” Thanks for bringing a smile to my face. And thank you for your beautiful heart. XOX Sue


  6. Christy- I love this! I can’t think of a better way to wake up than to have my sweet doggies kissing my face! Love this and thank you for sharing! Big hugs to Momma too. Xoxo

  7. You are such a blessing and Miss Lucy is too. Thank you for sharing the truly inspirational words our Lord gives to you. They are wonderful!

  8. Love this Christy! I can’t think of a sweeter way for your Mom to wake up. I’m visiting my Mom & Dad this week in Florida, and so wish they could still have a dog in their home. You are very fortunate to have multiple generations of both your human and dog family under the same roof! ❤❤❤❤

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