“Let me out of here!” my mother said, tugging on the front door.
I guided her gently back into the kitchen so I could start dinner. I turned to open the fridge, only to hear the sound of her walker moving slowly across the floor. Not again.
I’d moved in with Mom to take care of her five months earlier. I knew the task wouldn’t be easy, but I’d managed. Until recently, that is, when Mom started wandering because of her Alzheimer’s. Trying to watch her closely—and somehow keep the two of us healthy and well care for—was exhausting.
I settled Mom into a chair at the kitchen table. “Sit tight,” I said. “Dinner will be ready soon.”
I was so tired, I wanted to just skip dinner altogether, but we both needed to eat.
“Lord, I feel as if I have no help here,” I said when I finally crawled into bed that night. “I can’t do this on my own.” Honestly, it was more of a complaint than a prayer.
The next morning, I woke to sunlight streaming though the window, illuminating the layer of dust on the night table beside me. Housework…yet another task I was too weary to do well.
The buzzing of my cell phone broke the silence. “What now?” I groaned. These early-morning minutes while Mom was asleep were the only time I had to myself. The phone buzzed again. I checked the caller ID: Kim.
Kim was a friend from high school. I hadn’t spoken to her in months. She probably wanted to get together for lunch. How I wished I had time for something like that! I answered the call, already feeling overwhelmed.
“This might sound strange,” Kim said, “but could I bring you over some dinner? Give you a night off from cooking?”
Kim ended up bringing over dinner for Mom and me not only that night, but every night for weeks.
It was just the respite I needed.
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