Thursday, May 10, 2012

He really does watch over us…

Some might think I am crazy but my first memories involve Mom, Daddy and God.  Sometimes all together as in going to church or getting ready to go to the hospital when I busted my head open on an iron radiator when I was about three.  Sometimes it’s just Daddy as when he came into my preschool class at church to play piano or when he taught me to sing “Jesus Loves Me”.  Sometimes it’s just Mom as when she made me lunch in a lunchbox and we ate it outside on a quilt in the yard because I wanted to be like my big brothers and sister and have a lunchbox or when I played under the quilt frame while she worked on a quilt for one of our beds.

Sometimes it was just God.  Most vivid is the memory of our big old house, built in the 1880s, and how noisy it would get when there was a thunderstorm.  I was so scared of all that noise and the thunder and lightning!  I can remember being as young as three and hiding under the covers and saying a prayer to God, “Please God, I’m scared, could you please make the storm go away?”  I can’t say if the storm went away or if I became peaceful enough to sleep but the next thing I would know, it was morning.  As far as I was concerned, God was there watching over me.  I have carried that feeling throughout my life.
I would not claim to always have listened to Him – sometimes I have made huge mistakes that obviously were not in His plan.  I eventually realize my mistake and, not without trial and tribulation of my own making, I am led back to the path I should take.  I also never ask Him, “Why?”  I figure that’s not for me to know but there’s a purpose to all.

So why is this all on my mind?  Well, many changes have been occurring with the residents at the home.  Over the last year I have watched the steady progression of the disease and eventual death in some, others are following that path quickly.  For the most part, it’s really been a calm ride but every once in awhile there is a resident that acts out and can be a danger to the aides or the other residents.  There have been a few times recently when I have helped the aides as they tried to deal with these situations without anyone being hurt.  I truly appreciate what they deal with on a daily basis!
Still, you probably wonder what God has to do with it.  When Daddy was 69 and far into his journey with Alzheimer’s, he suddenly didn’t know my brother and ran across two fields and jumped three fences to get to our neighbor’s farm and get away from my brother.  He was VERY healthy!  Shortly after that, he checked himself into a local hospital that is known for geriatrics to get some testing done.  A half hour after he arrived he forgot why he was there, wanted to go home and became violent.  They immediately gave him a sedative.

No big deal, right?  Unfortunately, Daddy had never taken any medication so the proper dosage for his height and weight hit him like a ton of bricks.  He was out for the better part of three days and when he woke up, had to be reminded how to chew and swallow again.  Although a week or so before he had run across those fields and jumped those fences, he never walked again.
I don’t think any of us ever felt there was a reason to be upset with the hospital because they had no way of knowing what would happen, nor did we.  I believe that God was watching out for Mom, knowing that Daddy had progressed far enough that she needed more help.  Daddy went directly into the nursing home and Mom spent every day, all day, with him but never had to deal with violence – because he was no longer mobile – and was able to get her rest every night at home.
Do I believe it was supposed to happen that way?  Definitely!