We were pulling into Home Depot, taking back some citronella oil to exchange it for some plug adapters for the Christmas lights we were putting up. We were talking about “the Decision” yet again, the one that would place her Mom into a care facility. It was a black cloud looming over the day.
She said, “Living has become a chore, I am so exhausted all the time and my joy is gone.”
I said, “The exhausting part is that you are continually having this debate with yourself about how much is too much and if you have reached your limit yet.” It’s like the continual drip of a Chinese water torture. One day is terrible and then the next is not too bad so you go on.
The debate is endless, like fishing for the right answer but it doesn’t come because your emotions are so tied up in it. The right answer might be staring you right in the face but you’d more than likely talk yourself out of it.
One day you say you have had enough, and you really have. The next day is not too bad so you go on. But the wearing down of your body, mind and soul takes its toll.
And when you’re a Christian, while you thank God you have Him because you surely couldn’t do it without Him, you also wonder what He expects. You want to do the right thing and you forget that God isn’t up there waiting for you to say “Uncle” but sometimes it feels like it.
The way it should happen is this: One definitive thing happens to topple the pile of rocks that are stacked so precariously. The pile comes toppling down and then you know that it’s time. Unfortunately, many times this is not the case. Instead, you try to figure out what the right time is.
”I remember,” she says with worry-filled eyes, “when I said that it would be easier to wait until she didn’t quite know where she was, when her mind wasn’t so clear.” I sighed and said, “But it’s not is it?” She said, “It’s like sending a kid out there into the world of strangers.”
But the call was made because it is time to set wheels in motion for placement. And it continues to be very, very hard.
Ultimately, no one can tell you when that time is right except for you. When you know in your heart of hearts that you did all you could do, and you know that God knows too. Like she always tells me, “You have to do what you can live with after they are gone.”
That is when you take that peace and hold it close, and know that you can fall safely back into God’s love because after all:
He’s been holding you all along.
Read one of my earler posts on this topic on Bibledude here, or click on Alzheimer’s category on this blog to see others.