Tag Archive | Dignity

Easier Than Love

I feel like I need to apologize, because this post has nothing to do with caregiving. Or, maybe it does, in a way. As a parent, I am responsible for raising morally just human beings. And there is a great deal of care and giving that goes into that tough job (that lasts a lifetime).

Raising young kids is sometimes disheartening, in this culture, which worships so-called “reproductive freedom”. I wonder, how much has this so-called “freedom” cost us? We tell ourselves that we are in control, and that we can do whatever we want with our bodies, and that no one owns us. Really? You can say this as your government is requiring you to buy products whose purposes are not to actually save any lives, say like cancer or heart healing drugs, but drugs that destroy and prevent life instead. If that’s not control, than I don’t know what is. This kind of control and influence tells our youth that anything goes and that you never really need to commit to anything, because your choices are reversible and discardable.

Sex has become just a fun past time, a commodity, and a currency…a means to buy and sell tv shows, movies, music, and exciting products. We can trade a future of potential lasting love, meaning, and hope, for the seemingly more important intense needs of the moment. These “choices” prevent us from authentically believing in ourselves and in our capacity for being more fully alive, deeply loved, and understood. When we invest most of our time and money on things and strategies that tear down instead of build up doesn’t there need to be any moral consequences?

Our kids watch “Reality” shows that display woman after woman dating men in an assembly line of pleasure and anticipation, desperately searching for “The One”. There is competition, jealously, back stabbing, and heartbreak all on display for our joyous entertainment. And everyone so-called “wins”, as they get a chance at the painted prize and get to have their 15 minutes of fulfilling fame.And then, they are always wondering why they are unsatisfied and left wanting more.

In this “reality show” age, how much reality are our children really getting? Show after show tells them what they need to do to become thinner, sexier, funnier, and less of who they really are, and more of what others think they should be. Go here, and you’ll lose 100 pounds, and get that dream job and finally be HAPPY! Date this guy, and you’ll see a new world open up for you…you will go to far off exotic places and travel by helicopters and hot air balloons with some super hot guy you barely know (but who you THINK you know after going on 5 dates), and who recently went on 20 or so other dates with 20 or so other women. Just think of how truly “special” you will feel!

Yeah, now that’s some sad reality for you.

Because utlitmiatley; when sex, love, and life cease being sacred, precious, and real…than nothing can be

“Easier Than Love”

Ah La La La La La La,
Ah La La La La La La

Sex is currency
She sells cars,
She sells magazines
Addictive bittersweet, clap your hands,
with the hopeless nicotines

Everyone’s a lost romantic,
Since our love became a kissing show
Everyone’s a Casanova,
Come and pass me the mistletoe

Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone

She is easier than love
Is easier than life
It’s easier to fake and smile and bribe

It’s easier to leave
It’s easier to lie
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul?

Numb

Sex is industry,
The CEO, of corporate policy
Skin-deep ministry,
Suburban youth, hail your so-called liberty

Every advertising antic,
Our banner waves with a neon glow
War and love become pedantic,
We wage love with a mistletoe

Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone

She is easier than love
Is easier than life
It’s easier to fake and smile and bribe

It’s easier to leave
It’s easier to lie
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul?

Ah, la, la, la, la,
(Yeah!)
La la la la la la la,

La, la, la, la, oh,
(Yeah!)
La, la, la, la, no!

It’s easier to love,
It’s easier to love

It’s easier to love,
It’s easier to love

She is easier than love,
It’s easier to love

Everyone’s been scared to death of,
Everyone’s been scared to death of,
Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone,
alone

[Sing]
Sex is easier than love,
It’s easier than love,
It’s easier to fake and smile and brag

It’s easier to leave,
It’s easier to lie,
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul? (Where is my?)
Where is my soul?

See Me

I am sharing this beautiful poem in honor of Muriel and all of the sweet old men and woman who live with my mom at her Care Center. Muriel eats each meal with my mom and tries so hard to carry on conversations. She is losing her memory and words no longer come easy. She often forgets words that were once easily recalled. Her face lights up when she sees me and my kids though, and she loves to express how wonderful it is to see young children.

 The other day, we were decorating pumpkins with my mom, Muriel, and a few of the other residents. As I was helping some other residents, Muriel rolled herself back in her wheel chair to her room forgetting to take her new pumpkin. My daughter and I then rushed to bring her the pumpkin. We visited with her in her room for a bit, admiring all of her pictures of her kids and grandkids. When I brought over a picture of her daughters, she teared up, and said, “It’s nice to see this, I am losing my vision, so I can’t see these pictures very well”. She continued to express how she was told by her doctor that she is going blind and that she wishes it wasn’t true. She could not remember what it is that she has, but I told her I understood anyway.

I could sense that she was so relieved and happy to be able to share this, her story, with someone who would listen. She, and the other people who live out these quiet days and nights often shut up inside themselves, just long to be seen and heard. They long to be validated, understood, and loved. They each have a story, a history, hopes and dreams. Above anything else, they just want to be loved. They want to know people still care about them and remember them.

It is a very rewarding thing to know that perhaps I was one of the few people who gave Muriel any concentrated sincere care and attention for that day, or maybe even for the entire week. God’s grace is palpable in these moments of sharing His love and compassion with someone who desperately needs it.

Muriel with Lauren

This poem was written by an old woman living in a nursing home in Ireland. It was found among her thing when she died.

 What do you see nurses, what do you see?

 Are you thinking when you look at me?

 A crabby old woman, not very wise, Uncertain of habit, with far away eyes,

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply

When you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try.”

And forever is losing a sock or a shoe.

Who unresisting or not, let’s you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.

Is that what you think, Is that what you see?

Open your eyes, nurse, you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,

As I rest at your bidding, and eat at your will,

I’m a small child of 10, with a father and mother, Brothers and sisters who loved one another,

A young girl of 16, with wings on her feet, Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet.

A bride soon at 20, my heart gave a leap. Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

At 25 now, I have young of my own, Who need me to build a secure, happy home.

A woman at 30, my young now grow so fast, Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At 40, my young sons have grown and gone, But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn.

At 50, once more babies play around my knee,  Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead. I look at the future and shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing young of their own,

And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known,

I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel,

Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart.

There is now a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,

And now and again, my battered heart swells,

I remember the joys and I remember the pain,

And I’m living and loving life over again,

I think of the years all too few…gone too fast,

And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

Open your eyes, nurse, open and see.

Not an empty old woman, Look closer….see ME.

Honor your father and your mother,  so that you may live long in the land the  Lord your God is giving you Ex 20:12

You Are More

I have a good friend who is going through the process of a divorce. Her husband is an alcoholic, and has tried treatment many times, but he just can’t seem to stay sober. Our kids are very close friends as well.

It has been so difficult witnessing this raw pain caused by the devastation created from the effects of this disease, which also mercilessly tore my own family apart. In a way, it feels like I am reliving the agony and it makes me feel like that helpless, sad, & lonely little girl I was for so long, and still am in some respects. In therapy, it is grueling work trying to work on recovering and healing that innocent & lost inner child. With God’s grace, I hope to get there someday.

Addiction has no mercy. It strips those we love of their dignity, brightness, and truth. The miracle of recovery is that we learn we are more than the sum of our past mistakes, insecurities, and fears. We can be remade in the light of truth.

Watching those you love losing their battle with addiction is like watching a majestic vessel, like the Titanic, very slowly sink into the vast sea. Looking out at the once alive, vibrant, and bright ship, which once had so much potential, gives one a sickening sorrowful feeling.

All of those innocent lives affected, being forced to “jump ship”, so as not to “go down” with it. Yet, instead of escaping, they realize that they have only just entered into a new kind of hell. One where they need to learn to stay afloat…freezing and scared..praying for a life boat.

Thank You God, for the gift of our faith in You, who restores our sanity, and who has become our saving life boat in this vast treacherous sea of life! Now please help us to save and recover our true Selves!

I See You

My mother has lived in a nursing home for almost 2 years.  She was diagnosed with dementia in 2006, and started to slowly decline in the fall of 2006.  She was then 63 years old.  She is now also crippled, as she has had 2 broken hips that have never successfully healed.  As a result,  she is confined to a wheel chair full-time.  I am starting to get to know the residents that live with her, and who now are becoming her friends.  My mom has not wanted to interact much with the others up until recently.  Each week that I spend time with these people, my heart seems to open up just a little bit more.  At times my heart aches with sadness as I think of how these elderly are hurting, alone, and trapped inside their frail bodies.  At other times, I am filled up with a joy and peace remembering how when I talked to them or shared a smile, their forlorn faces just lit up with love.  This has been a very difficult journey for our family, but through it all,  I hold on tight  to all of the promises of God…like “God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble” Psalm 46, or “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13, …and many many other verses of truth that hold me up and give me hope.  The following is sort of a poem that I wrote after a visit to the nursing home the other day.

YOUR EYES

Lord~ I see you in the eyes of Jan, who has had 3 massive strokes and is now unable to move and hardly talk.  I see you in the eyes of her devoted daughter Pam, who is often at her side, feeding her or making her smile with her funny jokes.

I see you when I tell Jan, “You look super GREAT today Jan!” (which she really did, since 2 weeks ago she had nearly died after her third stroke), and Jan responds with a gleam in her eye, as she stutters out a joke with some words that I conclude to be, “You’re not just saying that because they paid you?”

I see you in the vividly blue eyes of my mom, who on this particular visit, was uncharacteristically  motivated to get dressed and have some make-up put on, something she has not done for a long time.  I see you as I roll my mom to lunch and as we share our time together…having a pleasant conversation, that is filled with lots of repetition, but is also filled with a rare interest and inquisitiveness from my mom.  I see you in her bright eyes, as I savor her questions and openness, as she is usually more closed off in her own world.

I see you in the lonely and lost face of  Lois, when I tell her that I love her sweater that she has on, and mumbles something that I’m not quite sure of, and  yet I act like I know exactly what she said and smile and carry on a conversation.  I see you as her face lights up from the attention, and as I hear another resident say, “That’s the most I’ve seen her talk in a long time”.  

 I see you Lord, in the eyes of Freida, who is crippled and unable to talk.  I see you as her frustrations of her not being understood, are  suddenly transformed, as her sweet eyes show her  love and gratitude when I finally figure out what her need is (to have her chair moved).

I see you Lord, within these precious and loving souls, who are trapped within their frail and broken bodies….yearning for someone to touch them, to notice them, to befriend them,to remember them, and to accept them.

I pray for all of the nurses, aides, doctors, and families who help care for all of them.  Lord, give them your compassion, patience, and love to be your hands and feet….and above all else, to remember your profound and powerful words of,

“Whatever you do to the least of  my brothers and sisters, you do it to Me.”