What I’ve learned from being a Caregiver

Happy Friday Y’all!

So as many of y’all know, I work part time as a caregiver for my mother who suffers from Dementia, Aphasia, and Parkinson’s. As tough as this trial has been, God has truly blessed my family and I with so many blessings throughout. During my devotion recently, I realized some of the things that I’ve learned throughout this journey and also what I’ve been reminded of. If you are ever in a similar circumstance you may experience some of these too.

•I have a huge passion for anyone elderly or someone that needs a little help. I think down the road I would like to invest my time caring for those in need in some shape or form.

I’m constantly reminded of the Trace Adkins’ song “You’re Gonna Miss This”. Even in the pit of some circumstances, I know I’m going to wish for these moments over and over again.

God is in the little things. Every mundane experience and moment He is present for and often gives you favor and grace for your persistence.

You may not relate and identify most with people your own age. None of my friends are taking care of their parents, with the exception of a couple with treatable illnesses. I have often had conversations with my parents’ friends who have cared for their family members or spouse with a terminal illness and there is a sense compassion and understanding that is evident that exudes.

Even though I know God will guide me through it and I trust in Him completely, I still struggle with the thought of not being with and seeing my mom everyday once she passes. As wonderful as it has been becoming so close, in some ways I think it was make my grief more difficult.

You’re going to forget a lot of the before. Sometimes I’ll hear things that my mom did from other people and think “My mom? Really?” I didn’t expect that. It’s odd you have such an all consuming present that part of that person’s personality in the past steps away for a bit. Home videos and stories from others seem to help with this the most.

• I will have waves of exhaustion.

-Physical exhaustion

*Walking around with my hands on her hips so that she didn’t trip and fall.

*Lifting her to and from the wheel chair.

*Getting her dressed and changed, as she grabs on to everything around her including myself.

-Mental exhaustion

*Trying my best to translate what she is attempting to say to real words.

*Anticipating what she might need and want

-Emotional exhaustion

*Dealing with the idea of her imminent death

*Going through the stages of grief because in some ways she has already left us.

*Not having her there to do things we used to and to ask questions to.

Life is absolutely a full circle, and I believe God intended it to be this way. By caring for her, I better understand how to be a good daughter and what a mother’s love is really like. I can only imagine this will magnify when we have kids. When I’m with family and friends that have little ones, I hear so many similarities to my everyday life with mom. It amazing, when you strip down to the core of who we are, you’re left with a childlike innocence, joy, and love that in my opinion comes direct from Christ.

•I will do anything to make someone smile or laugh. This is so true, but especiallyyyy when that person is my mom. The same way that giving a gift brings you a sense of happiness from the act of giving, bringing joy to her and anyone else brings me an even bigger joy.

My family and I now share a bond that is incredibly strong and rooted even deeper in Christ, which in my opinion is what’s most important in life.

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11 thoughts on “What I’ve learned from being a Caregiver

  1. Emily Fogarty says:

    This is such an incredible post Jenna. You are right, God has a plan and you have to know this is where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing with life. Your mom appreciates all you do for her more than you will probably ever know.

    xox E

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  2. Kittie Prosser says:

    I’m in tears. What a wonderful testimony to your love for your Mother!!! She is definitely one of a kind and inspires this love and devotion to all who know and love her. Your family is amazing and so inspiring!!! Love to you all!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  3. Willa Siemek says:

    What an awesome post Jenna. Your parents are very blessed to have such and amazing daughter and you are blessed to have them. I have no question in my mind that you are destined for greatness! I love reading your post and your family is precious!!! ❤️

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  4. Lynda Hickey Lee says:

    I love you thru your Dad and Mom because I do not personally know you. You have shared a part of your soul that is so precious and I will treasure this in my heart and memory. Please keep on being just who you are. You are truly blessed to have been put in this situation. May God continue to less your and your family .

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  5. Elizabeth Harrelson says:

    Jenna, the tissues came out after reading this. Thank you for sharing the journey you are on with your mom. And in such a wise, truthful and insightful way. There is great beauty in what you have said and in what you are experiencing-beauty in the midst of tragedy but that is God’s way. I pray for God to continue to guide you and to give you strength in this time. I know He sees your needs and sees every tear you and your family cry. Love to you all! You are a precious family!

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  6. Peggy Riggins says:

    All this is so true Jenna. My mom was bedridden for over 3 years and under Hospice care for two. After she died the thing I seemed to crave most was to be able to , when I thought of her, have the image be of her when she was vibrant, the mother I knew before. It took a long time to get that back. My mother went downhill more gradually at an older age–more like what is expected. Your mom was so youthful, cute, and energetic. She seemed to be robbed of some of the best times in her life. I know you had to experience some anger and a lot of sadness, but your loving way of handling this tragic hand you and your family were dealt is such an inspiration for everyone who knows you. God bless you all.

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  7. Jolinda Harper Elmore says:

    As someone who knew your mother growing up, I am touched and grateful for the person you are! How lucky Dale and Angie are to have you! What a great job they did raising such a compassionate and loving daughter!

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  8. Edna Williamson says:

    Jenna, you are an amazing young woman with a Godly spirit. Your mother and I grew up in First Baptist Church. I am a few years older, but i remember her sweet smile. I know God will continue to bless you and your family.

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  9. Debra Fenn says:

    Such beautiful expressions. Your love and sweet spirit is evident. You have expressed feelings I haven’t allowed myself to acknowledge, analyze, and think about in dealing with my mom who has dementia. Thank you for sharing such intimate feelings. I often remember your mom and the whole family in prayers.

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