Some days I almost forget we are now helping care for my husband’s two elderly parents. We are living our more accustomed life of raising and caring for our daughter, my husband’s job, volunteer commitments and regular chores. And then the phone rings.
Suddenly in the middle of the night, we will have Hospice on one line telling us one thing and the facility on the line telling us something entirely different. Both lines are demanding a decision which we feel totally unprepared to make. Or we are running back and forth all over town because one in-law is in the hospital, the other in their apartment and our daughter has to be somewhere. (And we are the blessed ones because my in-laws can afford to be in a place that gives us both the autonomy and the extra help we all need.)
Meanwhile, our daughter needs our love, attention and help with her life. My husband’s company expects him to carry his weight. And we all know that laundry, dishes, meals and yards don’t take care of themselves. There are some days where all you can do is pray and cry.
I was thrilled to learn that Lori Hogan had compiled a devotional book for other sandwich moms (and dads) like me. Strength for the Moment: Inspiration for Caregivers gives you a time each day to remember you are not alone. The more than fifty devotionals begin with an introduction from the author and a scripture.
What follows next really helped me more than I thought it would. Each devotional contains a personal story from a family in a variety of circumstances. All of them relate the ups and downs of caring for elderly or terminally ill relatives. Many of these people are also caring for their own young children.
You would think the stories would depress you, but they actually have the opposite effect. Each contains a hopeful message or lesson the person learned through their experience. Every story ends with a prayer covering the needs of the caregiver.
I don’t know about you, but it helps me stay centered and hopeful to be reminded that not only is God helping me through these times, but that I am not the only person in the world experiencing them. Somehow, it makes the journey a little less lonely and tiring.
If you are caring for others who are elderly and/or terminally ill, I would strongly suggest getting this book for yourself. The healthiest caregivers are those who take some time to re-build their own physical, emotional and spiritual reserves so they are stronger to help others. This book can surely help you through some of those days when you only have a couple of minutes to yourself.
This book was given to me free in exchange for my honest review. I am painfully honest and am keeping this book in reach for when I am having a tough day!