Monday, June 22, 2015

Reminders that Life is Fragile

As if caregiving by itself was not enough of a reminder of the fragility of life, there are plenty of new ones. Just Saturday I learned of three deaths. One was a long time family friend who actually named my daughter, another was a Facebook friend who brightened every day with humor, and the other was a local sportscaster tragically killed in an accident. These all left huge holes in my heart and reminded me that we cannot take a single day with our loved ones for granted.

As a caregiver, every day can be lived in pain - sometimes it's like everything hurts and even the small things are magnified. But when it's big things like watching your mom in the beginning stages of dementia or losing a close friend, it can be more difficult to handle.

Times are tough and emotions are high when you are a caregiver. Many days it takes everything we've got just to keep ourselves together to perform all the associated duties. Let one little (or big) unexpected thing happen and it can throw a wrench into everything and make it difficult to get gathered back up and composed. But yet, we do it again and again because life doesn't give any exemptions to caregivers. We have to keep on with our caregiving responsibilities and deal with the other things life wants to throw at us. Never mind considering our own frailty and fragility - but it is in the back of our mind. And life's reminders make me think of the fears I've shoved back where I don't have to think about them like what would happen to my son and parents if something happened to me?

2 Peter 1:3 tells us that He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. He fills us up with what we need to make another day. I think the trick is in acknowledging that life is fragile and so are we. That's the only way we can allow ourselves to become totally dependent on Him instead of on our own strength. We are caregivers - we know how to suck it up and keep moving. But we also know that if we don't do that - we might collapse into a bundle of nothingness. And just about the time we get it all together something like the sudden death of a friend or acquaintance knocks our props out from under us. It's actually the perfect set-up for us to remind ourselves that we must rely on Him instead of our own strength.

I will miss my friends, but I will remind myself that life is not a given. I know how just one phone call can change everything.

Today I will live with gratitude. I'll turn my thoughts to being thankful for my friends and family. My meditations will be on how I trust Him to give me everything needed to live life well and in Him. I will purposefully spend today thanking Him for the good things in life and shift my focus to the positives - and will not allow the negatives to steal from me today. I will turn my thoughts to His peace and comfort and allow them to rule in my heart and mind today. Will you join me?


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