Advancing to the season of caring for elderly parents has the potential to create a major shift in how we live and even view life. Suddenly, long anticipated plans must be reconsidered. Adjustments in the ebb and flow of daily routines must be rearranged. Physical accommodations of living space need to be appraised. Financial aspects of this arrangement require careful planning. It’s a load that at times can be overwhelming. Our enemy is ever present wielding his weapon of choice in taking advantage of the negatives of this shift to darken our outlook.
But though our focus might be tempted to see only what seems to be an ever lingering uphill climb, we can take measures that will foster a new balance. There are many helpful resources that we can draw upon to provide what is needed to care for our elderly parents. Yet, the main resource, the one true extinguisher of such darkness, is located in the Bible. It’s the map that will guide us in the choices we need to make and how to deal with the problems that arise. For instance:
You tolerate what you must when it becomes your reality. C S Lewis
The dramatic shift in the course of my life (October 24 post?) has brought to the forefront of my thoughts the above statement. As it settled there, the profoundness of Mr. Lewis’s quote sank deep. While my new reality isn’t something I’m excited about it’s encouraging to know that I will be able to tolerate it. Not only will I be able to tolerate what has become my reality, but according to God my life and the lives of my family will be enriched.
Yet even for those of us who have chosen God’s mandate, the actual doing of it is difficult and at best, challenging. We need God’s help in order to honor those who become the recipients of our concern. Having to care for elderly parents, especially within our home, has a huge impact on the family dynamics. Therefore, we must be on our guard for the fiery darts that will be sure to come against us. Fiery darts that are designed to view our caretaking of our elderly parents as a burden prevent us from responding with love, patience, and understanding as we seek to meet their needs
No one desires to be a burden to their adult children, least of all me. But how my future unfolds on this subject, must be surrendered to God. In the meantime, my children and grandchildren are learning valuable lessons in the shaping of their attitudes as they watch and help us care for their grandmothers/great grandmothers. Valuable lessons such as learning to appreciate the elderly as they share their wisdom gleaned through years of highs and lows. The love they are so willing to shower upon their children and grandchildren produces blooms of respect and admiration.
Make no mistake, it’s no picnic taking on the responsibility of someone who like many elderly parents have health and even mental issues. It requires a huge dose of selflessness, strength, and faith. If we seek these from God, then our reality indeed becomes tolerable, teaching us how to honor as we care.