Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: HOME (02/07/19)
TITLE: Alone, Yet Not Alone
By Bonnie Kronberger
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“Jimmy,” he hollers. “Show me how to open this door.” How strange that he can articulate his need, although there is no Jimmy that either one of us knows. Nevertheless, his Alzheimer's brain has allowed him to recall meaningful words. He eventually gives up and turns away from the door.
“Come sit down by me. Let’s watch TV,” I implore.
He stands in front of me, hand outstretched. “Come on! Let’s go.” I don’t look at him, hoping he’ll forget his quest. He patiently waits, hand still outstretched.
“What?” I ask, praying he’s forgotten.
“Let’s go home. Come on.” No, he has not forgotten.
“Where?” I question. “This is home.”
He rolls his eyes as if to say that’s the silliest thing he’s ever heard. “You know. Let’s go.”
His patient persistence melts my heart so we take a drive around the neighborhood. Returning to the house, Lee is glad to be home.
He’s not home now. The house is empty. Everyday I drive to the hospital, sit by his bed, watching him breathe. A fall resulting in a broken shoulder began the downward spiral of his already compromised body and he has no strength to stand. Blood pressure plummeted and kidney function nosedived. He is awake only long enough to be fed a meal, but even that is cut short as he dozes off too soon.
This is all new territory. A case manager takes me to a consultation room. I take a pad and pen, expecting important information. So much information— words like palliative care, hospice, skilled nursing—not unfamiliar words, yet I am unsure of their meaning. What I do understand is the weekend is coming and on Monday, Lee’s condition will be re-evaluated and then decisions must be made.
Lord, I’m on overload. How can I make decisions when my understanding is muddled. So many doors. Show me the way, leading to a place that Lee can call home.
I google and study services and places. They all sound good until I read the reviews. But no matter all the positive comments, the negative ones stick to my mind like Gorilla glue.
My mantra becomes Jesus I trust You, Jesus I trust You! My innermost parts tremble, yet His peace permeates my being. Tomorrow is Monday!
I do not know what is ahead, yet God has prepared me for this next part of our journey. I am experiencing the Holy Spirit in ways I cannot verbalize. I sense Him with me everywhere and in everything. It seems I am carried on angel’s wings.
I arrive home to an empty house, but I am not alone.
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