The 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!
I’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.
I 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.
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”