Sabine enjoying the weekend at the pool with neice, Teak and her daughter, Malea.
Just hanging out... and getting stronger every day (isn't there a song that goes like that?)
Left to right, Kim, Rainer, Malea, Teak and Sabine. Where are those boys? In the pool!!
THINKING ABOUT CAREGIVING...
I think I now know why focus is not only on healing and caregiving to the person cared-for, but also on the caregiver. After all, caregiving should be a relatively easy job, right? I mean caregivers are not the ones who are ill and in need of care -- or are they, too?
I think when you are not in love with the person who needs care, it might be an easier task – like a job – sure, you do it as best you can with both compassion and care, but, on the other hand, you go home after work and you and the person cared for do not necessarily have hearts that are connected.
And that’s when all this changes. At least in my case it does. Because the person I care for is my beloved it is difficult not to have the ups and downs of her illness affect me. It is difficult not to feel in my heart what is going on in hers.
So, I find my self in a bit of a funk since the time of the emotionally-packed, scary time of the transplant. And now, as Sabine struggles to regain her strength again… it is this road back we now walk and sometimes along which we struggle.
Sometimes I feel like a sentinel, a guardian, almost like being a cop again – protecting, watching over, and having a high level of awareness.
Hmmm, would it not be called “stress”? Of course it would. Of course, I get my exercise, eat well and watch my alcohol intake -- and I have my writing to do and a few Sundays in which to fill in, but the journey seems to take a toll now and then and I am feeling it now going into T Day +46.
We have now planned some weekly “get-aways” – like taking the camper north for a day or two, even thinking about boarding the train to Chicago for an overnight… these activities encourage me and bring me back into a reality check – or, perhaps I should say, a gratefulness check.
I have much in which to be grateful. I am doing what I have always wanted to do no matter what the cost – it ranks above all other things – to be with Sabine. Twenty-eight years ago I decided that a relationship with her was the most important thing in my life. I even offered to leave the police department so this could happen (and if you know me that was something big!).
Perhaps, it is time for some psalm-reading for me – to enter into the pain of the lament psalms, but also not to overlook those psalms which proclaim the joy and wonder of God’s creation, how we are so blessed, and to remember this time in which we live – and love – and have our being.
What is love? I think no one has said it better than Paul did in the Christian Bible. The following is from Eugene Peterson’s biblical translation, The Message:
[B]ut I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.”
(1 Corinthians 13:3-7)