"I will be there"

December 28, 1974
Right now I am doing of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  I had to come to terms with the fact that I should not continue to do for Gary all the things I want to.  Therefore, I am systematically assigning to others the many ways I care for him.  Changes are afoot, and I must say that I don't like change very much, unless it's exploring a new vacation spot with Gary, or remodeling the kitchen.  It's hard to look at the changes associated with "losses" as exciting.  The physical care is what I am mainly having to give up as he is less able to participate in sitting himself down, standing himself up, getting himself into and out of the car, and all the personal care things as well.  Though Gary is very compliant with others, it is hard for me to release him to them, as qualified as they are.  We have prayed for help, so that I can continue to stay healthy, protect my back, and have Gary here at home with me.  Help is coming in many forms, and I am so thankful in the midst of my ambivalence.  I must remember that were it not for relinquishing my involvement, we'd both be in trouble.   The red flags have been waving, as I have had to ice my back a few times this month, and have been fearful of "dropping" Gary on the way in from the car due to his loss of balance.

So I'm living in Excel right now, with a weekly schedule that has colorful blocks of time.  (Can't do anything without enjoying colors, right?)  I have lists of care giving agencies, personal referrals, and an unopened box of wheelchair ramps in the hallway.  I'm busy merging existing caregiving schedules, with new ones on the horizon, and if you know me at all you know I like charts, so this part of the process is not all bad.  Our sweet family has divided up some of the research to help making these decisions, and we are having "3-way Skype conference calls" to get things figured out.

A very happy moment on a very happy day1
There are no guarantees that he can always be here with me.  Our daughter made the comment the other day that many families have had to place their loved one in a care facility for very good reasons and our family is not special or unique in some way that we should be immune to this possibility.  But for now, God has made it possible for us to be together, and as a family, we are prayerfully entering into this new phase of greatly increased care in the home anticipating what good things will come of it. 

For those of you who have been praying for the needed help to come, it is partly in place, and more is in the works.  Thank you for bringing our needs before the Throne of God.  One thing I look forward to is the chance to tell you some of the most amazing things that have already happened that truly show the kind, attention of our very personal God.  Gary is the one with the simple, deeply rooted faith in his Savior.  I am trying very hard to follow his example, keep things simple, not over analyze and listen to counsel of our elders, and loved ones.

We're getting there.  It's hard but not impossible.  There are many songs that come to mind lately.  This one had me holding Gary's hand this morning, and singing along with Steven Curtis Chapman to Gary.  Yes, I cried.  To all you care giving folks out there, even if you are not physically involved with you loved one any more, or you have to go visit them somewhere else, I know you are still "there" for your dear one.  I know I will be no matter what.  The song is 4 minutes if you have a chance to listen.  Just click the little triangle, in the picture below.

Pass the tissues please...