We are almost sitcom laugh track worth ’round here today.
Joey, our 23 year old with autism, has a nasty cough and is home in a NyQuil haze. He’s intoning Disney movie lines in a voice that sounds like the audio of a slow motion replay.
Melissa (mom/caregiver) is suffering from a double shot – one shot of staying up all night to care for Joey and the other a shot of recurring pain from a chronic illness. She’s closed her eyes for a few minutes (btw I think she’s pretty when she sleeps but that’s just editorializing and so I’ll move on).
I (Tim – dad/caregiver) am sittin’ here typing this while my eyes keep closing and head drops on the verge of sleep. I have the day off but I’m sleep deprived from some kind of phantom leg pain (possible arthritis although disc problem is another one the doctor threw in to consider).
We are all beat up in one way or another, but not by one another. If anything, there’s a tenderness in the house that is surprising given how cranky pain can make any one of us.
When all else fails (and hey, what doesn’t when you’re a caregiver?), your kindness remains a gift to those in your care. On days when all of you are hurting, you find out that everyone in the household is a care giver and a recipient of care at the same time.
Letting another’s head rest on your shoulder is a successful intervention, “How are you?” is deep communication and “Sit down, I’ll get that for you” is heroic service.
Sometimes what’s left is you, and you’re plenty.
I sent a prayer request to a friend in the midst of our family sick day, and what he sent back says it pretty well,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)