My grandma and grandpa are getting older. I never thought it would happen, but it’s here. I have noticed them ‘slipping’ over the last few years. Now, it’s evident that dementia is present. My grandma seems to be slipping away faster than my grandpa. Normally I spend a day or two, unless there is something they need me for, like appointements. We have help that comes in nearly every day and then my mom does the rest of the caretaking. Lately, I have spent two days a week with my grandparents because the winter has brought on some extra depression for them. I have been there every day for the last 5 days, which is really hard with five children. It is easier when they are out of school, like now, but still takes a lot of time away from them.
I handle the mood swings, crying, and complaining in stride…most days. There are some days when it is hard to push aside the frustration. There are days that are so hard, when I get home, I want to do nothing, but sleep. Sometimes I’m a little short-tempered because I don’t have a lot left to give my family. Other times I am home for a few minutes before she is calling me needing me to walk her through how to use the remote, or wants to know why I wrote down a certain TV show for them to watch. It’s hard.
Some days are better than others. There used to be a big difference between a bad day and a good day. Now, the good days aren’t much better than the bad days.
December 30, I was on my way to see them. Grandma was having a really rough day. She has been crying often, not eating, and reeling in paranoia. All of that is dementia related.On the way to her house, I looked out over a farm field. The whole sky was full of these large rays of lights shining down on the thinning blanket of white.
I love it when the sky looks like this. I immediately think there really are holes in the floor of heaven. I always feel a feeling of peace wash over me. Whatever I am worried about, disappears. Whatever preoccupied me and keeps me out of focus, fades away. I’m instantly transfixed on the awesome beauty before me. The vast sky opens to let us see its infinite beauty and depth. How can that not be God?
I’m sure scientist and weather people have the reasons laid out, all scientific-like. And, they are right, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t God. They can share what they know all day, but for me, it isn’t what scientist know that gets me through the day–it’s what I believe. And I believe, God is ever-present. Those clouds making way for light is a reminder of just that. It’s as if his loving arms are reaching out for me. It brings me back to center.
It’s also an exact picture of my philosophies for life. The storm clouds give way to light. Pain gives way to release. And Grief gives way to life. Maybe you see nothing, but dark clouds right now, but that doesn’t mean the light has disappeared. As you heal, the clouds will thin and part. Slowly, but surely, those clouds will give way to that warm light. The warm light will wrap around you and show you the beauty life brings.