Friday, December 24, 2010

The power of love...

I have learned about love this year. I have learned that a mothers love truly is a security blanket. I have learned that love and relationships are complicated. I have learned true and selfless love is romantic.

I am in awe at the man my dad has become in these last few months. He is so tender with my mom and he works so hard to do anything and everything that he can to make her life happy. He hurts and yet he goes on being strong. He is pushing himself to be more and do things in a way that is more pleasing to my Mom despite the fact it might be out of his comfort zone. He is protective of her and he misses her when he leaves her in my care. I've learned that everyone expresses love differently. Ive also learned it's hard to allow others to love in their own way, but when I'm willing to see the value of their loving expressions it increases my love for them.

I am in awe and overwhelmed at the power of love. It can make us feel so big and invincible and so weak and vulnerable all in one emotion.

One of the blessing of this experience has been my ability to meet new people who are shouldering similar trials. I have received e-mails from women who care for their husbands and I love the tenderness for their husbands I hear in their words to me. I wanted to share something one woman I met through e-mail shared with me. Her husband was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She is amazing in her ability to love selflessly. She has been taking caregiver classes and attending caregiver support groups to be the best she can for her husband. She has become an instant textbook of knowledge on Alzheimer's and has transformed her life to fit the needs and comfort of her spouse. She gave up her life not only willingly, but it appears gladly.

She and I have written many times about how in those very rare spare minutes it's almost to much work to think. My to do list has grown as long as Caleb's wish list for Santa - if that's even possible. There simply is no time.

No time to get organized. No time to keep up with friends or stay up on the news. No time to write thank yous. No time to keep track of thank yous to be sent. No time to write the things I'm feeling and the experiences I'm having. No time to sleep. No time to eat more than a bite here and there. No time to sleep. No time to realize I should be tired. No time to self examine and think before speaking. No time to complain. No time to be vain.

Its the most interesting phenomenon. Its similar to the way I have felt after having a baby only this time I have a whole and healthy body to put to work. I can do so much more and its made this experience intense and fulfilling. I use to think I was busy and could use a few more hours a day. 12 extra hours a day would not cover what I need to get done now.

In that woman's caregivers class they emphasized having "me" time. Time to go out with girlfriends, out to eat, or to do something enjoyable for themselves. She kind of challenged that belief to the instructor. Her feeling was that she had worked so hard to a get them to a peaceful place that it was not worth the risk of interrupting that balance. She fills her needs with the satisfaction of how content her husband is and the happy feeling between them. While technically she is giving up some things, the satisfaction she gets back is more than what she has sacrificed. We both laughed that playing Bejeweled is about as much as we need for me time!

I relate to that feeling of not wanting to connect with the outside world. For me its like I'm afraid that delicate glass will crack over my snow-globe life. While I am inside I am protected from the pull of things I probably should be doing. The expectations of being involved, present, and to be everywhere and everything all at once are drowned out by the enveloping power of my life right now.

Ive learned this Christmas season that sacrifice is one of the biggest expressions of love. My Dad has been an amazing example to me of what it means to give up ones life for another. As have the wonderful women I have met through their sweet e-mails.

What a tremendous example this Christmas Season of what we are celebrating, the selfless gift of our Heavenly Father to give us his Son. As well as the gift our Savior gave - his life for our eternal life. I'm sad to admit that until this Christmas Ive never realized what it must have cost him to give up his life. It has humbled me to remember that I too have been loved by someone enough that they gave their life for me. I am thankful for our Savior.

As I'm typing this (literally) my mind is opening to a whole new realization that is bringing these thoughts full circle.

32 years ago my Mom gave her time, her agenda, her life to give me the gift of my happy life. She sacrificed the things she might have wanted to give me all I needed.

The best gift ever given.
The sweetest gift to receive.

This Christmas Eve, my wish is for everyone to feel of the selfless love given for them.


Pam (Haslem) Dana said...

Beautiful words Lisa (as always, right people?). You don't worry about the thank you's or the outside world. Treasure this time you have with your parents... nothing else truly matters right now.

Love you and let me know if you need anything!

Larry said...

I couldn't be getting by without your help and support at this time. You are so good at reminding me that Mom's care and comfort need to rise above all other items and distractions. I love you!