Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Stroky’s Journey: When You Can’t Be There

Today marks the third week since my 92-year-old mother decided to discontinue dialysis. She has grown steadily weaker. Monday we started 24-hour care with caregivers who are approved for working with residents of Provisions Living where Mother has her studio apartment.

On our Saturday visit she said “not yet” to caregivers. Monday the hospice nurse called and let me know it was time. I made the call, and by 2 p.m. a caregiver was on duty. I know others have gone through the end-of-life experiences of loved ones when physical disability or other circumstances prevented you from being with your loved one daily. I want to be the one there holding her hand every day. But my stroke recovery hasn’t progressed that far yet.

I am working on keeping my focus on God’s care, though. And the evidence of that care helps me fight frustration. Mother loves the ladies who are taking care of her. Their ministrations have brought her physical, spiritual and emotional comfort. Same with the hospice nurse.

And they have comforted me with their reports, which, while clear on her weakening condition, also include insightful details about her continued pleasure in visits, brief visits, that is; quiet discussions of Scripture passages with a caregiver; and thankfulness for the simple experiences of a warm shower, sausage gravy over a biscuit and a night’s restful sleep.

I hope to be by her side again soon, holding her hand. In the meantime, I am thankful she is surrounded by other relatives and new and long-time friends who love her.


  1. Praise the Lord for helpful family members and compassionate care-givers! There have been times in my own life when I've had to rely on both, too. Still praying...

  2. It is wonderful that she is surrounded by people who love and care for her!! And that she is still getting enjoyment from things. I still know how hard this is, though. I have been through it myself. My prayers are with both of you.

  3. She is obviously facing her fate on her own terms and she is to be admired for that. How wonderful she is surrounded by caring people and I know how hard it must be for you not to be there every step of the way.
    You are both in my prayers.

  4. The Lord be with you Linda. Reading your message today, I am reminded that the small things count in this life. How wonderful your mother arranged for her care so that her children might be spared when the end came. I have tried to do something similar for my children who are now all in their late forties. Dianne

  5. Hi Linda...thank you for stopping by. I was happy to read your comment. Coming here and reading about your mom and your recovery...I hope you can spend more time with your mom soon. Take care.


  6. I have lost loved ones, but not in this manner. I prayed for God to ease her into his arms peacefully and to ease your heart also.

  7. Know that so many hold you and your mother in their thoughts and prayers. After our small town recently suffered devastating wildfires that destroyed over 1,500 homes, my own bout with an autoimmune disease made it impossible for me to help in the physical ways I would have done a year ago. I can't pretend to understand your frustration when it's your mother and not a neighbor you want to comfort, but I do understand that it is frustration on a visceral level.

  8. My heart goes out to you Linda and to your Mother.
    There is one thing that you can know with confidence, She is nestled right into the Hands of her Savior. There is no better place to be.
    I pray you will be strong enough to go and visit her again and hold her hand.

  9. Many people needs hospice care, especially those people who had a terminal illness. With the help of hospice care they had given a chance to recover from their illness.