“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Do you carry a burden for your loved one? Does your heart ache for the heavy load you bear? It doesn’t matter if they are old or young. Somewhere, lying deep beneath the surface there is a treasure in the trial. Every day, Robert and I are faced with a variety of scenarios. What will the new day hold?
We jokingly say, “How’s the patient in 1A?” In other words, will it be a good day for Grandpa? Will he actually have enough energy to stay awake at breakfast, or will it be a down day when he can barely drink his water and put in his teeth? Will he be able to stand up to get his diaper changed or will he have a F.B.S. (floppy baby syndrome as my husband calls it) and barely be able to sit up on the edge of the bed?
I find myself feeling very old, my thoughts totally revolving around his inconsistent behavior, his sometimes blatant ungratefulness, and the bodily functions of a 93-year-old or lack thereof.
This is a crazy way to live, wrapped up in another person’s psychological and physical state, so much so that you feel like you have a constant burden upon your shoulders, a weight that you just can’t shake. Yet, the Bible tells us, that’s exactly what we’re supposed to do.
“Carry each other’s burdens and so live out the law of Christ. If a man thinks he is “somebody,” he is deceiving himself, for that very thought proves that he is nobody. Let every man learn to assess properly the value of his own work and he can then be glad when he has done something worth doing without dependence on the approval of others. For every man must “shoulder his own pack.” (Phillips)
Trust me, my husband and I are bearing a huge burden as Grandpa is increasingly unable to shoulder his own anymore due to his physical and mental frailty.
I wish we could say along with the songwriter, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother,” but he is heavy, physically and emotionally, and he is ours – all ours!
So this is our miserable, depressing state of existence . . . or is it? Are the struggles we experience in taking care of an elderly parent all there is to life? Are we locked in a downward spiral of hopelessness? Are we hidden victims? The answer is n0.
I find that writing about our experiences as caregivers helps me to cope. As I commit this journey to paper or this blog, I can sort through my emotions and have a good laugh or a good cry.
Lately, though, I have been all bottled up inside and having a hard time finding the humor in our situation, and consequently unable to write. That is a scary place to be! Long-term stress can rob you of your joy and your sense of humor.
Keep laughing, I remind myself!
Do you carry a burden for your loved one? Does your heart ache for the heavy load you bear? It doesn’t matter if they are old or young. Somewhere, lying deep beneath the surface there is a treasure in the trial.
Remember, he gently leads those who are with children . . . and the elderly, too!