Journey – Caring – by Guest Blogger Laura Bortner

A journey can be an actual trip or it can be a pathway to spiritual or emotional growth. It can describe the change journeyof a relationship, the sharing or ending of a marriage, the details of a career, the recognition of a calling. It can describe the faithfulness of God’s work in a life or the dark night of a soul in that same life. It can even describe our paradigm shifts, the changes in thinking and the unlearning we have to do throughout our lives. This series of blogs is about the journeys of life. Guest blogger Laura Bortner describes the journey of a daughter caring for her elderly parents.

I collapse into bed

virtually exhausted from

the many long, weary days

filled with phone calls and conversations,

endless details and appointments,

travel and troubleshooting,

standing in the starkness of

a sterile hospital room.

All new activities that

occupy the space

where my life used to be

fixtured and fashioned

into manageable chunks,

familiar and reassuring routines,

exercises in the mundane

that have become turned upside down

in an orchestrated chaos of its own

as I cater to my parents’ every need.

I am like a new mom again.

they are infantile and weak

helpless and hurting

lonely and confused.

I offer help to the bathroom,

some quiet conversation,

a gentle sponge bath for relief,

a scrumptious dessert for dinner –

anything to bring them comfort.

We sojourn on like this for days,

weeks, months, and even years.

I am never far from their sides,

doting on them with loving care,

until it all crescendos into

one  cataclysmic, abrupt finale –

and they are gone for good.

It’s over –

There’s nothing more to do

and nothing more to say.

The phones are silenced,

the appointments cease.

Sympathy cards are tucked away.

We are all finally at rest and a

peace that passes understanding

sweeps over me and fills my soul.

 

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