|Taken eight months ago.|
Nathan's head doesn't even fit under my chin standing up anymore. I have been watching him morph into this baby version of a teen. So when I talked to him about why he couldn't sleep, reassured him that he needn't be worried about anything, and he cuddled right up to me in bed, I felt immensely happy. Satisfied. This was my job, my most important job.
The feeling came in stark contrast to how I spent the rest of my day, taking care of my grandparents. Meeting new home health aids and fielding calls and scrambling to the airport to retrieve them as they finally flew from Boston to home in Houston. I allowed myself to get tense about being late due to school and traffic. I allowed myself just a bit too much anxiety about my grandmother getting along with new hired help.
Anxiety is a sin, plain and simple. Worry means we don't trust God enough. It's not usually a big problem for me, but when it comes to the short term future with my grandparents I sometimes struggle with it.
Remembering how temporal these days are eases that. Reciting many many passages of scripture I have memorized about God's sovereign and comforting hand helps. My own somewhat empty prayers help a little, but knowing my friends are praying more meaningfully for me helps even more.
Caring for my grandparents shouldn't be my job, but it is. It's an awkward responsibility that I often muddle through, pressing onward gently and with determination. A lot of things I want them to do and wish they would do are for my own future comfort, trying to avoid as much of my own pain and conflict as possible. I have to balance what I want and think is best with the enormous hardship it is for them to admit they are near the end of their lives and can't do everything for themselves anymore. I won't bully them or push too hard. I do my best to listen and smile way more than I'm naturally inclined to.
Seeing my grandfather struggle to take even a few steps before he was too tired to go on last night was hard. Knowing that they probably will never again see the beloved house my great-grandparents built is surprisingly emotional for me.
But seeing them smile as they watch my kids interact is really good. Seeing them kiss each other for no special reason is good. There will be many good days of conversation ahead to balance out the hard.