My grandmother on my Dad's side, Memaw, lived BY HERSELF from the time she divorced in the 50's until she was about 97 when she moved in with my parents. She had taken ill and was sent to a hospital where they said she was too old to operate on and we were pretty much told just to wait for her to die.
My dad and I went and picked her up and brought her to their house. Since my husband and I lived next door and I had experience in the area, I cared for her. She was bedridden, diabetic and on a liquid diet. It was hard and I am ashamed of how much I complained now, not to her but to everyone else. But to the amazement of us, the aide I hired to help and especially the "experts" my grandmother became well again. She now walks, unassisted, waits on herself and generally requires little to no help for daily tasks. Everything looked good as the aide took over all responsibility and my husband and I moved here to Waco.
There was a lot of emotional turmoil, building back home, which I conveniently ignored. Old family rifts began to widen and I felt no real need to step in. Memaw and I had never been close. I shamefully admit, I turned away from what was going on instead of trying to help.
The problems grew. It was no longer a matter of hurt feelings but of dangerous actions almost 3 years later when I finally realized on a visit that something had to be done, but what?
A nursing home is a last option in our family, not the first. And while they are sometimes needed they are often overused. Much like our government run schools and daycares, nursing homes are where we seem to place our "burdens" when they are an inconvenience for us.
With my Dad being an only child we were out of options. And that is when God said, " YOU". It just popped into my head one day, I had always skirted around the possibility. I had excuses: I have 2 children to care for, I live too far away, I wouldn't know what to do......blah blah blah. Jonah had excuses too, but God didn't want to hear them either.
I went to the word:
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 1 Timothy 5: 4
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8
It was like I knew that everything would work out, at least for a time. That this is what I had to do, at least for now.
I mean, I had taken care of a paralyzed diabetic man my junior and senior year of high school. I had take care of her when she was in far worse shape. I had received my Certified Nurse Training the summer before my senior year.We had the space for her, and I had the time, I'm really not that busy in the day.
I tentatively brought the subject up to my husband and after careful thought and consideration decided it was the best thing we could do, without nagging or pushing from me. He said "It's not the easy thing but its the right thing". I love my husband : )
I asked Memaw about it, she said yes she would move in with us but.......it would cause problems in the family. And boy did it.
I won't go into all of the details, this is far too public of a venue for such conversations. Suffice it to say I came out of the discussion with my mother broken hearted, it took almost a month to fully deal with what was said, and I'll never "get over it". But I have found forgiveness for her and pray, that's all we can do in a difficult situation, right? PRAY.
My dad agreed to move her down here so 1 week later she arrived with a flatbed trailer full of furniture, keepsakes and clothing.
Before their arrival I spent the time busily preparing her room. I moved the boys into the smaller room since all they do is sleep in their bedroom and this way she could have the large room at the end of the house. I used my old bed from my childhood and fixed it up with bedding and a window treatment. I picked a shower chair and sprayer up for her and my husband set them up along with building a hand rail on our rental house. We set up a TV service, a phone line and a medical alarm for her.
When the flurry of moving had come and gone our every day routines resumed and my dad went home. She attended church for really the first time in 3 years that Sunday with us. And even though she is Methodist and we are Reformed Baptist she LOVED it.
So shortly after Memaw moved in with us she celebrated her 100th birthday on October 6th. What a blessing.
It's been a little over a month and things have been uneventful, for this I give Thanks. Not only are things going well but we are finding that we are more alike than we had been led to believe.
I know no matter how difficult it may become that God will lead us and though it may not be where we think we ought to be headed The Good Shepherd knows best. Praise be to God.