Looking for conversation to pass the time, I ask my husband what he would consider his blessing this week.
“Not a good time to ask,” he replies. “Sorry.”
He’s got a point. We’re sat in A&E again with my dad, waiting for him to be admitted to a bed, after he had another fall this morning and gashed his head. Following a number of trips here in the past couple of months, a painful decision has had to be made about his long term future. What chance of finding a blessing in all this?
But the words I will write on this week’s token in my Blessing Jar are ‘truth’ and ‘companionship’:
Truth because there is relief in finally acknowledging and facing a truth that has been creeping up on us for some time, namely that Dad is no longer safe to live in his own home and that we need to go ahead with moving him into a care home, where he will get the supervision and support he needs 24/7. There is blessing in actually doing it rather than dreading and anxiously turning over the possibility in my mind. And there is blessing in having a professional point out the truth of the need so that the responsibility is not solely mine.
Which is part of why my second word is ‘companionship’. It wasn’t any professional who assessed my dad but a colleague who was on today’s weekend rota, someone I trust and respect. And that was a great unlooked for kindness and blessing from God.
And I cannot ignore the companionship of my brother, sharing care and decision making as a team. Nor the continued support from my husband, who views my father as his dad too. What an example of love he set as, on hands and knees, he scrubbed the bloodstains from Dad’s cream carpet, or pulled Dad’s pants and pyjamas up as he helped him up from the commode. What a man I married all those years ago – who knew then just how deep and how rich the ore of quality ran in him?
So in the midst of difficulty, even though heartbreak may surround and threaten to engulf me, and even whilst in my mind I am angrily chunnering “b******d b******d dementia!”, here are my blessings of truth and companionship – lasting and precious.