Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Supporting Each Other

on October 21, 2014
Image courtesy: imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy: imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.net

I recently met a woman who is in a familiar situation. Her father has Alzheimer’s and her mother is his main caregiver. My new friend is single and moved in with her parents to help. As she asked for assistance with a specific request related to her father’s care, her voice broke and tears slipped from the corners of her eyes.

In that moment, memories flooded my mind of the many tears I shed during my mom’s illness. I knew that those few tears she shed were more than sadness for what her parents were going through.

For those of you who have done it, you know that care giving is a heavy burden. When my mom started to have problems related to her dementia, Dad did as much as he could, but he was just one person. There came a time when Mom needed more than Dad could give. I lived close and it was easier for me to be there to help than it was for my married siblings. And I willingly stepped in to lend a hand. It was good, but not without its problems.

You see, as single adults, we are often uniquely situated to help with these family needs. Since it’s often just us, our lives are easier to manipulate to be available than when you have to take a husband or children’s schedule into consideration. But then again, as single adults we don’t have an instant support network waiting for us at home after our time as caregivers.

There was one night in particular that I remember during Mom’s illness. I had worked all day, and then stopped by my parent’s house to make dinner and get Mom ready for bed. Mom was upset that evening and Dad was also since he couldn’t fix whatever it was that was upsetting her. The weariness was evident on Dad’s face. I did what I could to help and then headed home.

The drive was short, but it was long enough for that little voice to rise up in my mind. “It’s not fair that they have to go through this alone.” “I need someone to care for me too, but I’m heading home to an empty house.” “This doesn’t seem like a great plan, God; this would be easier if I had a husband to come home to, someone to tell me it’s going to be okay.” “Why am I fighting this alone?”

As I railed against God, it was more than just the frustration of not being able to make things better for Mom and Dad. It was all the years of singleness and all the things I’ve had to do alone because the plan hasn’t included a husband up to this point. It was easy for me to drop into that abyss of how unfair God was being. But in the midst of my pity party, God dropped a bombshell. My being single was part of the plan for Mom and Dad’s situation. He knew they would need me and he planned my life so that I would be available to them.

Over the years, I have found that there are both blessings and curses in my singleness. I’m sure it’s the same for married folks. The hard part comes when it always seems like we’re alone in this. As I spoke with my new friend the other day and offered my phone number should she need some care giving as she goes through this, I realized again that God provides in different ways. He gave me friends who could help, and now He’s allowing me to help others.

 

 

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2 responses to “Supporting Each Other

  1. Anne says:

    This is such a wonderful post. Thank you.

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