Week of February 17, 2014
I was out on a walk yesterday, about a mile from home, when I spotted what I assume were three generations of one family in front of a house.
There were several vehicles in the driveway. A family gathering of one kind or another. Three little boys -- maybe ages 4, 5, and 6 -- were bopping around the front yard. Members of the middle generation were helping a family matron -- maybe in her 70s -- get to one of the cars. She was using a walker. Going slowly. Carefully.
The kids moved constantly but never so near their . . . grandma? . . . that there was any danger of them running into her. Never so near that it would have been a concern for her or for members of the middle generation.
It was a beautiful sight. Comforting. Encouraging.
I suspect those assisting this older woman had no idea that, at the same time, they were helping those youngsters learn lessons that can serve them a lifetime.
1. Love is patient.
2. Love is kind.
3. It's not pompous.
4. It's not rude.
5. It doesn't seek it own interests.
6. It's not quick-tempered.
7. It bears . . . believes . . . hopes . . . endures.
8. Faith, hope and love will remain. But the greatest of these is love.
I don't believe for a minute that members of that middle generation are perfect caregivers. I wasn't. No one is. As humans, we all fall short. And, as humans, sometimes we do very, very well under very, very difficult circumstances.
It can be tempting to focus on where you've missed the mark. To see only that, or to exaggerate it. But that isn't the true picture. The true picture is that, as a caregiver, you're doing many things really well as you continue to live the very challenging vocation of caregiver.
I understand that you might be too tired to even raise your arm and give yourself a little pat on the back. Allow me to do that. Good job.
Yes, the above list is from 1 Corinthians 13; and, yes, those verses are often used at weddings. Of course they are. They're about love. And that's what caregiving is all about.
By your actions, day in and day out, night in and night out, you're loving. And you're teaching others -- from the oldest generation to the youngest -- not "love in action," but that "love means action."
You remain in my prayers.
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