This post is part of the Five Minute Friday blog link-up! Each week Kate Motaung provides a one-word writing prompt for participants to free write for five minutes flat and share their work with the online community. This week’s prompt is TALENT. You can also find in the 28 Day Blogging Challenge.
Five minutes, and go…
I’ve missed the link-up for the last few weeks. I planned on starting again at the end of January, but life had other plans.
As a full-time family caregiver for my sister, Michelle, who has Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, I got the call from my day program. They told me that Michelle was sick and I needed to take her home. She had a rough day but seemed fine by that evening. No fever, no more vomiting, she even ate a little soup. By the next morning, she was back to her normal self but I kept her home anyway, just to be safe.
The next day, as we were getting prepared to go back to school and work, Michelle got lightheaded and had to sit down. Then she told me she couldn’t see. My husband called 911 and Michelle spent the next four and a half days in the hospital with the flu. Can you believe that–the FLU!. [Originally posted on February 8, 2020, about a month before COVID-19 hit.]
Outside of her door was what I’m calling a masking station. Everyone entering, even to drop off food trays, had to put on a mask, gloves, and gown. As we took walks around the floor, with our masks on, of course, I noticed other masking stations. Clearly, the hospital wasn’t taking any chances with the flu.
During her hospital stay, we encountered doctors, nurses, assistants, and other staff with their own specific talents like healing, caring for, assisting, serving. All talents I’m sure God gave them for this very purpose or they wouldn’t be so good at them. Even my daughters, who stayed with Michelle so that I could go home for a few hours to get some sleep. My husband, Mike, who spend two days with us. My son’s who checked in and visited. They have a talent for taking care of me.
Michelle has special talents too. It’s more like the fruit of the Spirit. She makes people feel loved, she is kind, makes them smile, and I believe they can feel her joy. I saw this with everyone who cared for her, they each left with a smile.
Michelle made it home and stayed there for another week before returning to school. So far so good.
She is looking and feeling so much better, and we are thankful for those people with special talents, who God put in our path, and gives us as a loving family.
My five minutes are up, see you here next week.
I was a carer to each of my parents and one thing I learned was that I couldn’t be everything for them. We need the talents of others – the day care centre, the care workers, the A&E staff, social workers, nursing home staff. We also needed those who looked after us – the colleagues who listened, the friends who brought church to the care home, the church family who prayed when we couldn’t.
God bless you in your caring and don’t forget to let others look after you too.
Your FMF Neighbour #29
Thanks for sharing your experience. For a long time, I believed I could do it all and felt it would be selfish to seek outside help. How foolish that was. We are now in the process of setting up in-home help and I will be very grateful for it.
Sorry for being so late in my reply. I welcome all the help for my sister and I’m learning to ask/accept help for myself. My fellow caregivers have reminded me that we can’t care for others without caring for self, too.
And now another challenge,
one which we did not seek,
for how can we now manage
when I no longer speak?
Cancer has laid claim to voice,
and we’re down to ASL;
though this is not a choice,
how can we do it well?
I’m locked into a silent place
but my wife has come to meet my plight
with compassion and with grace
to continue this losing fight.
Amidst the thorns, the roses thrive
and I am the luckiest man alive.
Andrew, God blesses us with your words. You still have them to share and, I, for one and thankful you share them with us. I pray God blesses both you and your dear wife with strength and courage minute by minute.