I know the last three months of my life have only been unique for me. I’m not the first to lose my father followed shortly by my mother’s stroke.
We’re still walking that ragged path of stroke recovery with my mother. We’ve seen astonishing progress when we look back three months. Looking back a week, not as much.
My sister and I, as our mother’s primary support, have not collapsed into a puddle of tears or wafted into dramatic hysteria. It’s not our way but that doesn’t explain much.
Certain things matter to help stand firm in the face of overwhelming fear and stress, such as:
- Flexibility. My plans for my day can change in a moment and there’s no point in hand wringing. Change gears and go on.
- Priorities. Maybe I haven’t cooked as many meals for my family, but I’ve made it a point to eat dinner with them. We make times for laughter and conversation even though I’m with Mom at least three hours a day.
- Faith. Our family believes God has not left us or Mom. We don’t question whether God did this to her. Neither does my mother. She trusts him to care for her now and to take her home one day.
- Good health. Even my mother, felled by the stroke, is in pretty good physical health and so are my sister and I. It’s tougher to maintain a stringent schedule with nagging health issues.
- Optimism. Our family assumes Mom will get better, although we know there’s a chance she may never return to full activity. But we’re looking for the gifts God gave her, such as the ability to talk and use her right hand and leg.
- Friends and family. Not only do many neighbors and friends check up on Mom and prayer for her, but total strangers are weighing in to encourage and support her recovery.
We walk day by day. And we’re doing all right so far.