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When things don't go to plan...
Taking a breath
Firstly, thank you to those who sent messages after last week’s post. Your support was appreciated so much. Last week was HARD! Since I last wrote it is very busy and still hard, but a lot more positivite. You have problably guessed something has been going on, as once again I didn’t meet my posting deadline.
Dad didn’t settle in respite care. He was only supposed to be there for two weeks and the idea was that it would be a ‘wellness experience’ for him. His internal homing instinct had him pacing and walking through the day and night searching for family. He became a ghost of the man we’d checked in to the place, and was unrecognisable after only a few days. There were several things adding up to the experience not going well, and this isn’t the place to articulate all of these challenges. However, the difficulties culuminated in myself and my brothers having a conference with his GP and on her instruction, pulling him out immediately. My mother is still not able to have Dad back home but she is recovering beautifully from her operation. Their very lovely GP also thought it was best that Dad be with me at my place in the interim. Supported by my family living at home and the wider extended family we are all working hard to bring him back to the stage he was at before he went into respite. The road back there is slower than the unravelling but we’ll get there. From the first moment I told him I was taking him home with me, he’s been on the improve.
It’s a strange time. His condition will ultimately bring deterioration, but the plummet that was unexpected and shouldn’t have happened. It took us by surprise and we were shocked, sad and disappointed. Dignity, respect, and compassion are all things we’d like for him to experience no matter how much he remembers or what his physical needs. My Dad is a faithful follower of Jesus and a wise soul. He is the same gracious, compassionate, caring, wise and self-sacrificing person he’s always been. His concern for others always exceeds his concern for himself.
And so, I’m taking time out of my day job and my Kereru work to be a fulltime carer for a short while. Fortunately, in my construction job I work for two of my brothers, so they are very gracious (like their Dad) in giving me the time off work. My Kereru obligations must now also reduce and the deadline for this weekly post is one deadline that I know I will struggle to meet for a couple of weeks. I’m going to say right now, that there won’t be a post this coming Saturday (NZT) and likely not the following Saturday. All my paid subscribers will receive an extension on your subscription for the period while I’m not posting my usual content.
I’m sure there’ll be a few polished up prayers that I publish as a result of this time. My background means I come to looking after Dad with some experience in optimising sensory experiences to bring a sense of calm and safety. Already I find myself creating experiential prayers for my own use as we go through the rhythms of the days. I just don’t have time to write them down or get them to a polished state. The days are full on and full of the completely unexpected.
I called this post ‘Taking a breath’ because breathing prayers are one of the most grounding and supportive prayers I use for myself in times of struggles and challenges. A simple breathing in and breathing out prayer with focus and intention helps to keep me grounded and gives me strength. I feel God around me and with me. I feel wrapped in support. I feel loved. It is my challenge to take my Dad with me in experiencing the same because he is loved and valued even when his brain doesn’t remember things.
If you’ve been around me for a while you’ll know I hear from God in unusual places. One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from Dr. Seuss and is a large driving force in how I live out my faith. In the words of Horton from Horton Hears a Who…
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
In the words of Jesus….
I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.
Matthew 28:20 (CEV)
I will be back. This is a short pause. I thank you for your support, love and patience. I will endeavour to reply to all emails or comments but forgive me if I’m a little delayed.
On the journey