Wednesday, April 1, 2009

~This, too, Shall Pass~

I always find myself closer to God during difficult times. I first realized this during my senior year of college. Kneeling in a dark, musty confessional, I confessed to a priest that I was guilty of not being as close to God as I should have been. Hey...I was a Dean's List college senior carrying 21 hours & finishing up my student teaching, a Resident Advisor on a dormitory floor of 40 freshman girls, and working part-time. Yup...I wasn't praying as much as I could have been. The priest said something that set me on my heels: "The fact that you are worried that you're not as close to God as you should be, tells me you are MUCH closer to Him than you think." I've never forgotten that. He was totally spot-on.

As I travel through these difficult days with my Mom, I find I am leaning on Him for dear life. Is there any other choice? Faith is easy in good times. It's brutally hard in bad times. But those are the times I am the closest to God. He's the last thing I think of when I fall off to sleep, and the first thought I have before I open my eyes. I wake up many times throughout the nite, and pray that He is holding my Mom...and the arms. She can't do this alone. Neither can we.

Mom is still in the hospital. Her delusions continue. She imagines she is at work. Everyone's left and she has no way home. She says someone's stolen her purse, and she has no money. This scene is played over and over. There are no phones, so to make calls, patients have to convince someone at the nurse's station to call for them. They try to control the frequency of these calls, and as you can imagine, they have many more important tasks to perform in the busy geriatric unit. But she convinces them to let her 'call her daughter' whenever she can. These phone calls are heart-wrenching. They asked me if I wanted them to stop the calls. I told them, "Absolutely not". Can you imagine how you would feel 'locked' in with no way to reach your loved ones?? And so, whenever the phone rings, I find myself praying that it's not Mom. Sad. Very sad.

The unit is locked. No one in or out without a code. No phones, tvs, no cords, strings, foods outside the dining room. You have to 'check' eveything in when you enter. They ignore the patients' questions. Many of them babble incessantly. It's like a white-walled prison. A giant padded 'cell'. Depressing for sure. We've all agreed that any of us would go crazy if we had to stay there as a patient.

But Mom's already in her own kind of 'prison'. There's a monster raging inside her that the doctors have yet been able to calm down. They've tried 3 medications so far. They haven't worked. She is still in this fantasy-hell. She begs to be taken 'home' every time we visit. Visiting hours are limited: 6-8:30 each evening. By 7:00, Mom is exhausted. Exhausted from the delusions. From the begging. From the monster. It's pointless to try to visit with her after that hour.

We did get a smile from her on Sunday: We brought her a Frostie!

And so....we continue on, fervantly praying that today is the day they will figure out how to help her calm the monster. It's been 7 days. Will they succeed? And what happens to this dear woman if they don't? Will she ever be able to go back to the assisted living facility she knows as 'home'? What if she can't?

At certain moments of the day or night....these questions become monumental, depressing unknowns. Eating is near impossible. And when I comes right back up, so what's the sense? Praying is the only calm. The rock. God is here. I know He will make things okay. I just wish He'd hurry.

**Thank you all for your prayers, your comments, emails......for your support. We are so so grateful for them***


Darlene said...

I am so sorry you and your mom are going through this agony. All I can do is keep both of you in my heart and prayers during this difficult time.♥

Carol said...

Thank you, Darlene!!

Molly Alexander said...

Carol -

I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can't even imagine what this is doing to you, as I've never had to go through it myself. I can tell you, though, that God is there in the midst of everything, and He is by your side - I know, easy to say, but hard to believe sometimes. More importantly, He is there with your mom as well.

I am praying for you both.


Anonymous said...

((((((((Carol)))))))) Wish I could give that hug in person, but I know that He is holding you in the palm of his hand, and that's better than any old hug from me.
Love ya, sweetie.

Carol said...

Thank you so much, Molly. We can never have too many prayers!

Judie...We'll be hugging soon enough!

Beth in NC said...

Oh Carol, thank you for visiting my blog. I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. My grandmother had Alzheimer's disease -- and it is so sad. I have my hands full with my parents as well, though they are both currently at home. The guilt sometimes adds to the pressure (guilt of not always being with them -- often wishing you were somewhere else without the responsibility).

I pray God will bring your Mom to my heart and that every tormenting spirit be bound in the Name of Jesus. I pray she will have the peace of our Holy Comforter cover her from the top of her head to the souls of her feet in Jesus' Name.

Bless you Carol.

Carol said...

Beth...Thank you for your prayers of comfort. You are right about the feelings of guilt. I pray that things will go smoothly for you in handling your parents. This all started 8 years ago with both of my parents. Dad got sick and came to live with us, then the dementia got worse and worse. It's been a rough ride.

CountryDreaming said...

Just wanted to add my prayers. Here's a night prayer from today's Liturgy of the Hours:

Now that the daylight dies away,
By all thy grace and love,
Thee, Maker of the world, we pray
To watch our bed above.
Let dreams depart and phantoms fly,
The offspring of the night,
Keep us, like shrines, beneath thine eye,
Pure in our foe’s despite.
This grace on thy redeemed confer,
Father, co-equal Son,
And Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
Eternal Three in One.

Carol said...

Patty...What a perfect prayer. Thank you!

Jeni said...

I wish -yes, pray too -there were something someone, anyone, could do for you, for your Mom, to soothe both of you during this really trying and difficult time. Words do fail at times, for sure. And the only thing that comes to my mind, you used as your title. "This too Shall Pass!"
This sentence stands out in my mind specifically because it was a phrase my late neighbor, mother of one of my closest friends from childhood, used frequently. (She was also as close to being a second mother to me as another woman could ever have been as I spent many, many hours at her home from about age 3 until I moved away for several years.) Her name was Gert. About 10 years ago, her health began failing and it was learned she had cancer -of the brain. Sadly, her phrase never came to pass but our pastor used it as the theme of his eulogy at her funeral. That's why it is totally cemented in my memory now. And when I know someone whose days are very numbered, when I encounter someone via my blogging friends who is dealing with issues so difficult, so painful for them, it comes back to my mind, my memory. And I realize too the truth of that phrase then as well. Sometimes, the answer or solution, if you will, to a problem doesn't come to us the way we want it to or the way we pray for relief, but in its own time, it does come thne, this too shall pass. We all wish for, want dearly that magic wand to appear and make things right again in our lives and when we know it can't happen, or most likely won't take place, I do think just the knowledge deep in our hearts that says those four words can bring about a little bit of comfort and peace within us. Having walked the path you are on right now, I remember all too well, how it feels deep inside, except when it was my Mom, I really hadn't come to terms within myself of those words. Hard times, very difficult days ahead, for sure. But you will muddle through some way, some how, because of your faith. of that I am sure. Peace now and always.

Ballerina Girl said...

I am not sure what to say except that you are right in trusting in God. He has a plan for all of us...and sometimes that plan takes away those that are dearest to us, even though their Earthly bodies are still present.
I can only pray with you that He is guiding your Mom.
Take care...please eat, it is a must. This could go on for longer than you want, and you need your strength to help you, your family and most importantly your Mom get through this.

Marci said...

I depend on the words (no cling to them) "The will of God will not take me where the Grace of God cannot keep me" - you're on His time - and yep, one of these days we can ask Him - what clock are YOU on?????????? Try to be patient .... this too shall pass and yes, NOW would be good!


Cheffie-Mom said...

I'm so sorry. I'm sending hugs your way.

Juls~ said...

Hi Carol,

The one ray of light I saw in what you've written is that your Mom asks for you and still remembers you. I think that shows the powerful love that she has for you to reach out to you like that.

I wish that she did not have to suffer or be afraid. It was cute that she liked the shake you brought her! Good thinking!

I'm sure your guilt is simply from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and wanting some relief. You deserve that relief, so take some time out for you.


Anonymous said...

It must be very hard, something a part of you wishes was not happening, yet you need to be close to your mum at the same time. Your faith is obviously strong enough to carry you through.

God Bless You.

CJ xx

Margaret said...

I would love to join you in praying. I am so sorry. My mum has just been diagnosed at 81 with cancer and I am so sad she has to suffer. That is the hurdle I am trying to get through today.

JLynnCreations said...

It's a terrible thing to have to watch your mother going through that. I am so sorry for both of you. My grandmother is in Chardon HealthCare and everyday I go there I wonder who I am going to find. Will I find the grandma who remembers her only grandchild or the woman who just smiles blankly at me just because I am a person who is speaking to her? I wish I knew how to reach out to her. I know your pain as you stand by helpless and I am sorry from the bottom of my heart. At least we have a bit more time with them...