Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Incredible Gift

I thought it amazing that Deborah, a friend from long ago, came up all the way from Nashville, TN, to Marion, IL, to help our daughter Katherine be able to go to her son’s Senior Night during football season. Laura, the friend’s friend, also  came along to help drive and to help out. 
It is difficult for the uninitiated to understand how much time and effort it takes to get someone from the bed to the wheelchair, dressed and groomed, fed and given meds.  Then, on top of that, trying to get out of the house and into a van  and arrive at a specified time can often be an impossible.accomplishment. But with Deborah’s and Laura’s help, Katherine was able to see Sam as drum major for the first time in the pre-game show. We were so grateful to these two good Samaritans. 
As amazing as that gift was, the friend’s friend later volunteered to come back up for a week to visit Katherine and help her. She cooked healthy meals that Katherine raved about and introduced her to the spicy substitutes she uses to reduce sugar and salt. She even left a couple of her special salmon patties and banana bread in Katherine’s freezer for me and Gerald.
I followed Katherine’s advice to use this lovely woman’s visit as a respite, so I was only there once to visit while Laura was. That day before she fed Katherine her evening meal, she spoke a brief prayer of thanks. It had never occurred to me to do that when I have helped her with a meal in her bed or chair.  There are usually any number of  needs to take care of before she can comfortably start her meal—finding a safe place for the tray, adjusting her limbs, arranging blankets or throws, adjusting the chair or bed to the right height, and so forth—and I am always fretting knowing that her food is getting cold. Katherine never complains about the food being cold, but I know she enjoys it when it is warm.   But I liked what Laura did, and so I resolved to follow Laura’s example, Yet when I was there yesterday afternoon when the snow prevented an aide from coming, I completely forgot once again. Maybe I can do better next time.
Laura went home yesterday through the bitter cold and the unexpected early snow, and she had to sit  for over two hours in Kentucky because of a cattle truck that overturned on the slick highway.  So her incredible gift of time and service was lengthened and increased in difficulty even more.
How can you thank someone who makes this kind of personal sacrifice to help another?  I can only pray that the God she loves so much will bless her with His richest blessings.

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