Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And the little one said, Roll Over ...

Have you ever considered how much you move around in your sleep? Without any awareness whatsoever, you shift your feet when the blankets grow too heavy upon them, adjust various limbs for warmth and roll from back to side, or vice versa, for comfort.

I mention this because when I am visiting my parents, it is my responsibility (and privilege) to help my father do all the above during the night. With ALS, you see, you gradually lose the connection between what your brain wants your body to do and what your muscles are willing and able to. Sort of like the communication between myself and my children some days, but that's another story.

So once or twice a night, my cell phone rings, and I leap out of bed, tiptoe downstairs, and enter my parents' room to execute a series of delicate maneuvers, such as helping Dad roll from one side to the other, adjusting the pillow under his heel to prevent ankle sores, tucking in the blankets near his feet so they don't exert pressure on the skin, scooting him over in the bed, etc. Really, it's the least I can do.

But I will tell you something, even though it's a bit shameful to admit. I do not always feel like doing this task. When I was slumbering peacefully, and the covers are so warm and the night air so cold, the leap out of bed can sometimes be preceded by a brief hesitation. You know what, though? Once I stopped feeling guilty about feeling this way (after all, my inconvenience compared to the absolute frustration of being able to do nothing for one's own comfort can hardly register on the scale), and just talked to my merciful and un-shockable Friend God about it, we made a deal. I would get out of bed and JUST DO IT, if He would do it with me. Happily.

So now when the cell phone rings and I jerk awake, I whisper, "OK, Lord, let's go."

And we do this together, my Lord and I. A privilege untold.

(Note: I'm back in Texas now, just didn't have time to post beforehand ...)


Naomi said...

Too precious. May we all learn to live in such a way, doing all things with our Lord. Much grace to your whole family. :-)

Tracee said...

A friend of mine recently mentioned to me that taking care of myself now is like giving a gift to the older me. Your older self is going to be SO content with the gift of knowing that you really did all you could do to help your dad while he is here. That is so wonderful Hannah!