Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Unable to Focus

If you are a regular reader you know for the last several weeks I have tried to have a a regular blog post up early each Wednesday. This week I was not able to get that done. My intentions this week were to further discuss Joseph. I have written about a page and a half about his circumstances and was transitioning into explaining his reunion with his family and how he seemed to have to fight the urge to seek revenge. I was hoping to also going to point out how Joseph’s situation led directly to the fulfillment of one of God’s promises to Abraham a couple of hundred years earlier.

The problem is I am having a very difficult time focusing on the typical character study like we do each week. I have a lot of things pressing on my mind and my emotions that are really breaking my focus.   I mentioned last week that I had a pretty tough early childhood. This is not a subject I broach often. It’s not that I am embarrassed by it; I just have never wanted it to define me. So, it’s kind of a big deal for me to mention it again in this space.

When I was born my mom was only 17 years old. She was thrust into a position of trying to raise a kid, when she was still a kid. Her parents were over the road truck drivers and weren’t around a lot, so she was forced to try to be responsible not just for herself, but also for me. As you may already know, 17 year olds aren’t known for making the best decisions and my mom was no exception. From as long as I remember she had always battled addictions to alcohol and to narcotics. She also was diagnosed as manic depressive and battled that as well. She tried to do right in raising me and 2 of my brothers, but she never could seem to get out of her own way.

As a kid, it seemed whenever mom would fall my grandmother was there to pick up the pieces and try to make things whole. My grandmother has her own issues, but as a kid I couldn’t see those. I put her on a pedestal because she presented this image of stability to me that my mom never presented. She didn’t seem to struggle with addictions nor did she seem to struggle for money. I Could eat as much as I wanted at Grandma’s house because she always had plenty.  Looking back now I know some of my perceptions were faulty, but that’s the way I saw things as a kid.  In my eyes my grandmother was a somehow a beacon of strength when everything was chaos.

It’s been 10 years ago that my mom passed away. While we weren’t as close in the end as I wish we were, it still was a hard blow to take and it still hurts sometimes now when I think of her.  I still miss the good times and I admire that she always tried her best to overcome her demons. I wish she would have succeeded and my daughters could have gotten to know her. When she was clean and sober she was a remarkable woman she was smart, pretty, and very talented.

Over the last few years I have began to see my grandmother’s health deteriorate. I have seen her once sharp mind now fail her.  I have begun to notice her telling me the same things repeatedly. I also began to notice her stories were seeming to get more confused and the details were a little different each time.  It sometimes seemed like she was more ornery and cranky than she had been before. It was hard for me to accept that she wasn’t just getting older but that her mental health was starting to fail her.

Last fall I found out she had fallen victim to a sweepstakes scam that cost her and her thousands of dollars. Relunctantly I began to see more evidence that both mentally and physically she is simply unable to take care of herself. For months now My brothers and I have tried to convince her to move in with one of us or into an assisted living facility. For months she has found every reason to refuse.

She has been in a swing bed medical facility now for about 3 weeks. I have talked to her daily and I have talked to her nurses almost every other day. Her descriptions of what is going on have gotten more and more confusing. Finally this morning I got a call from her case manager at the facility telling me she isn’t showing the improvement that she needs to show to stay in the swing bed facility. She also confirmed what I already knew; that my grandmother can no longer take care of herself at home. What she needs is the level of care that can only be provided at a nursing home.

This is a tough pill to swallow. It’s going to be an even tougher pill to get this proud stubborn lady to swallow. I am dreading the next several weeks and months of trying to  help her get everything in order and get moved into a place she doesn’t want to move in to.  Emotionally I am already a wreck just thinking about what’s to come.  I know a nursing home is the only alternative that allows her to get the level of care she needs, I also know that she views a nursing home as a place to send old people to die alone. She views going to a nursing home as giving up.

I know none of this is why any of you read this blog, but I just can’t get my mind or my heart to focus on Joseph’s story right now.  The one thing I can take away from joseph is that no matter how bad things got as a slave or as a prisoner; he knew God was in control. That is a my biggest comfort to remember right now.

As we will continue to see once I pick Joseph’s story back up next week,  God’s plan is bigger and his grace is all we can ever need.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

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