Taking Care of Me
In the selfishness of my heart, I could picture it — somebody taking care of me.
Fixing all my meals.
Bringing me the foods I like.
Tending to my needs.
Like a cruise ship — without the cruise or all the people.
Being a mom and a caregiver is exhausting at times.
I suppose it doesn’t seem like anything too difficult. How hard is it to fix tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich every day?
Or to do laundry.
Or take out the garbage.
The monotony of it could tend towards boredom. Kathleen Norris, in her must-read book Acedia & Me, said,
Might we consider boredom as not only necessary for our life but also as one of its greatest blessings? A gift, pure and simple, a precious chance to be alone with our thoughts and alone with God?
She reminded me of why I am so suited for this job.
While washing the dishes, most of the time I am quite alone with my thoughts and with God. I am running through the scripture I’m memorizing or praying for family and friends. When a family member joins me to dry the dishes, it is a special delight.
The truth is — a cruise has never appealed to me. All that basking in the sun and eating rich foods and drinking fancy drinks.
Okay, the sun part sounds good.
But the lush extravagance doesn’t.
I’d rather be repotting plants.
Or weeding the myrtle.
Or taking out the garbage.
Yes, I find satisfaction in dragging the big garbage can to the end of the driveway for the garbage man to pick up. Today, I’ll clear a swathe of snow as I do it and walk back to the house in the path cleared by the can. Later, I’ll carry the much lighter can back to the house and put a fresh clean bag in it for the new week.
The other day though, in the grumblings of my heart, I wished someone would take care of me. In a flash I saw it — lying in a bed in a nursing home, having to be turned to prevent bed-sores, having someone spoon the food into my mouth all the while talking with a co-worker about the weekend past or the weekend ahead, having someone choose what I was to wear and dressing me in it.
I take it all back. I don’t want someone to take care of me.
I’m fine, thank you.
And so very thankful to be able-bodied and independent.