I’m going to need a lot of help
to become a good caregiver.
I’m counting on you, God, for that.
Help me grow patience for this journey.
Help me forgive myself for all the ways I fail.
Show me how to see that heart within
that longs for unconditional love,
just like me.
Show me how to know that soul
that shines in the light of divine love,
just like mine.
Show me myself in this person.
Show me this person in me.
Help me listen to a thousand repetitions
without getting angry.
Help me to say, “Uh-Huh,” instead of
“I already told you that!”
Help me not be frightened or repelled
by a grown-up needing guidance
and help like a child.
Help me laugh when
I find sheets in the oven,
socks on hands,
underwear over pants,
someone undressed and back in bed
I just spent an hour getting up.
Help me be kind, to myslef and others.
To say, “Oh well!” when I lose my temper.
To say, “I’m sorry” when I owe it,
To say, “Never mind” and mean it,
To say, “Oops” and not scold.
Help me remind myself that,
next to the end of civilization as we know it,
this really isn’t so much.
Help me forgive this person’s illness.
Help me forgive my lack of empathy.
Help me remind myself that
I don’t have to be perfect
and, as you know, God,
that’s a good thing,
Help me to journey to the place where
it’s enough to be the people we both are.
Help me be amused instead of judgemental.
Help me stop blaming someone for their illness.
Help me be kind
instead of angry and frightened.
Help me give more than I ever got.
Help me grow into the person
who can love everyone exactly as they are,
Help me be willing
to become my parent’s parent
instead of resisting with anger.
Help me learn how to have fn,
how to travel into different time zones
with my parent
who thinks this is 1928 in South Dakota.
Help me understand
that when my 88-year-old mother
asks me when her mother is coming home
it means she needs a mother.
Help me be that mother.
Help me think about the fact
that sometimes everyone feels
like a motherless child.
Help me feel that gap.
Help me know and understand that
as I become what others need
I become that for myself.
I’d be really grateful, Lord,
if you could do all that for me really fast.
Or maybe at least,
you could rush me some patience.
(c) Frena Gray-Davidson
Author of “Alzheimer’s 911”
Help, Hope, and Healing for the Caregiver