THE PHONE startled me as I was deeply engrossed in research for a small “for hire” writing project. The deadline loomed, and I was taking advantage of the mornings Bob was away in the nursing center to make good progress on my work. I estimated eight more days to complete the job.
“Mrs. Noonan, this is the social worker at the nursing home. Your husband has decided he is leaving and going home today. He is adamant and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. No one has been able to convince him he needs two to three more weeks of therapy. He has declared he is leaving even though it is A.M.A. [against medical advice].”
My first reaction was to deny this was happening. Following the wave of shock, I felt an outburst of anger. I am not a skilled nurse, and Bob needs one around the clock. He is so weak he can’t even get to the bathroom by himself. How would I manage? I was being treated for a compression fracture in my lower back from pushing him in a wheelchair up an incline. I had strict instructions not to lift or do even slightly strenuous activity. …
O dear Lord, what am I going to do now?
It had been years since I felt such intense anger. …
I fell to my knees and cried out, “O Lord, how long? You know my strength is depleted. I simply can’t do this. How in the world can I take care of him? How will I finish my project? I am so angry. O God, please.”
Bob had his way; he came home. Somehow, with God’s help, I managed to get through each new day. By staying up late at night, I even turned the project in on time.
O Lord, I am so angry and tired. Hear my cries: How long? How can I do this? … Really, God, don’t you think this is enough already? Amen.
– Nell E. Noonan
The Struggles of Caregiving
From pages 20-21 of The Struggles of Caregiving: 28 Days of Prayer by Nell E. Noonan. Copyright © 2011 by Nell E. Noonan. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Do you know someone who is a caregiver? Pray for her or him today. Share your thoughts.
17:22 Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out. I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs; I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
Ezekiel 17:22, NRSV
This Week: pray for weary caregivers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
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This week we remember Anthony of Padua (June 13).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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