Friday, May 29, 2009

Simple Things in Life

Sometimes I am amazed by life. Last night I found myself very unhappy and frustrated and just almost mad, more disappointed then anything, and not really at anyone but myself. I hate those moments. However, they do just hit you at times and you have to choose what to do with them. For me I chose to get my * up and work out and get over it already. Some situations I am learning I just can't do anything about, no matter how hard I try. Realizing that is okay is wonderful!
Today I find myself feeling very blessed. I think I have the best job in the world. While it is not always glamorous, it is so rewarding. It is a job so many of us pass over though.
Two years ago I moved back to Texas and decided to try and find a way to be happy and have my children in my life. I got the first job that I could- working at Chick Fil A. Mainly because I was missing my mother in law terribly and she loved the place. Then also because I was guaranteed certain hours, could work around the kids schedule and always had Sundays off.
One day this man walks in with his wife and I instantly knew that she was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's. We got to know each other mainly because he was funny and thought I was all of 16. As if... he was floored to find out this beautiful female- as he would restate the moment, had three children and was in her 30's. To this day he still just can't believe it.
We got to know each other as they ate at CFA mon-fri for lunch, always ordering the same thing. The love I saw was amazing. He always helped her in the door, helped her with her food. I think my admiration for the moment really helped us become friends. It was a blessing for him too as I had taken care of my mother in law until her passing from Alzheimer's and Congestive Heart Failure.
I am very "old school", "traditional", whatever you would like to call it. I truly believe family should care for family if at all possible. I was able to help him with her. I quit the job over the summer when my grandfather passed away. I realized from his passing that I was not achieving my true calling and wanted more out of life. Wanted to make him happy.
I got a call right around Thanksgiving from this husband. He let me know that his wife had fallen and was bedridden and he wanted me to come out and see what I thought.
I did just that, that day in fact. I am not one to waist time. (not always a good thing mind you)
When I saw her she instantly smiled and I knew this was the job I wanted. One and a half years later I look back with no regrets.
I do have to change her when I first get to their house in the mornings, not always pleasant either. However every morning when I come in my day starts with Sunshine. I guess I bring that with me because she smiles and laughs and just instantly perks up.
With patients like this, that is not very typical. They usually don't remember "new" people and rarely even remember their children and spouse. She knows me though, personally I think more by spirit then by actual being...
I get so much affirmation from her. Every day she has something kind to say. It is wonderful. Today I was washing her hair, which is an ordeal. She is in a hospital bed and I have to pull a feeding tray over, slide a stretcher under the mattress across the feeding tray- then prop a pillow. Carefully maneuver her legs across. Walk around to the other side, pull her with my strength so that her head is off the bed, prop her head as I use a salad like bowl which is propped on a bar stool, and use a small drinking cup to then wash her hair. It is a workout. I wouldn't change a thing though because she loves it.
Today I was helping her back into the bed correctly and leaned across to grab something and she kissed the side of my face and said, "I love you."
Those are the golden moments in life. Where we give of ourselves fully and completely and they make a difference in someone else's life. It is a moment that no one can ever take from me and one that I will treasure among many many others with Anne.

So today I just really appreciate how truly blessed I am. I don't' know how much longer I will care for Anne, I don't have an idea of how many days she will remain on this earth but I do know that if at all possible like my mother in law Joyce, I will stick it out until the end. To give is so much more rewarding then to receive...a lesson I am so thankful I have learned.

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Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24