Support for Spousal Caregivers

by Sonya Dawson

From my last entry (regarding my faith): "But for His Grace I go...and as long as He allows me to see Him in the smallest of details, I will trust  Him to get me through whatever happens."
I look for God in the smallest places now.  As my husband spends his days waiting for the largest of miracles he will need, I have spent mine trying to grab hold of anything that will steady me on this unsteady path.  Sometimes I have to look harder than others.  In the last few days I realized that sometimes I will have to look with my heart instead of my eyes.


 
Anything ever upset you and focused you at the same time? Anything ever broken your heart but healed it in the same moment?

Teddy Bear - Snuggle BuggleMy baby girl is five years-old and she's the light of my life. It's been said many times that small children take so much more than they give. I have a very rewarding give and take with my daughter.

She's a typical five year-old most of the time, but we live an atypical life. Something that doesn't happen too often...she mis-behaved at school this past week. There was a note on her daily report detailing her actions: "Not listening, not following directions, touching others during work time."  I calmly asked, "A-----, where were your listening ears today?"  "Please don't be angry," she answered.  "I'm not angry, but you really must listen and follow directions so that you can stay safe and you can't get your friends in trouble with the teacher.  They need to do their work and you have to wait until playtime to play."  Her response:

"But I'm just a silly kid.  I wish I had a silly mommy.  You're just a sponsible (responsible) mommy...and sponsible is mean."

Now of course I understand she was just upset I was trying to correct her behavior and trying to lay a guilt trip on me.  But I couldn't dismiss what she said.  I thought about it and there was a word I focused on and I had to ask myself a question.  When did I become "just" a responsible mommy?   

Later that night, we stopped for gas on the way home and while I stood outside the car, I looked at her through the window.  She smiled at me.  I looked at her eyes.  Memories of things we had been able to do together flooded my brain all at once.  As I have done before while pumping gas into the car, I pressed my nose to the window and she broke into full laughter.  I knelt down so that my head was below the window and popped back up again.  The sound was muffled to me because the door was closed (to keep out the night air), but I knew her laughter had filled the vehicle. 
 
After we were on our way again, I thought about how I must have looked to the other people in the parking lot and realized it didn't matter.  What mattered was the feeling of the moment and seeing it for what it was...a gift. 
 
This morning, as I do everyday, I walked through and did a check.  My husband was up doing his morning medication routine.  He smiled at me with the nebulizer mouthpiece still between his teeth.  He looked cute.  To discourage his habit of talking during treatments, I simply smiled back.  I went to our daughter's room and pulled her from her bed to get her ready for school.  As I carried her to my room where her clothes were waiting, she put her head on my shoulder and turned her face inward.  I could feel the tip of her nose on my neck.  She reached up with one hand and found my ear.  It is her way of saying "good morning" before she is ready to talk. 

I sat on the bed in silence and held her for a moment.  She laid her head on my chest and took a handful of my shirt in one of her hands.  I looked down at the top of her head and asked, "Are you my snuggle buggle?"  She nodded yes.  About then I heard the nebulizer switch off and my husband clearing his throat.  And I knew...I know that even though my heart may ache for what might have been and it beats faster when I consider the uncertainty of our future, I can go on and face what lies ahead with the gift of His grace.  I appreciate that.

 Source of image: http://www.animevice.com/teddy-bear/21-1196/all-images/84-248013/teddy_bear/83-465493/

Address

63 West Main St, Suite H
63 West Main St, Suite H
Freehold, NJ 07728
Freehold, NJ 07728
Phone: (800) 838-0879
Phone: (800) 838-0879