Chronic illness can appear to be cruel. My hospice patient who developed ALS is currently unable to do anything for herself except chew, breathe and talk. She is unable to move her arms and legs or care for herself in anyway as she lamented yesterday- “I can’t even blow my own nose!” She went on to share she felt that her caregiver and her husband were getting tired of caring for her, this was her own perception. What do you say to this? I took a deep breathe and prayed whatever came out of my mouth was in someway helpful-to back track a bit- before work I invited the Angels to work with me- to guide me and assist me in any way they can- because often I am faced with situations that are emotionally challenging. These are the words that formed-
“You have a sacred bond with them. Your illness is sacred and allowing others to care for you is an opportunity for your caregivers and those that love you to develop important things like compassion and patience. You think you are doing nothing? No, my friend, you are giving them a gift to become more, to grow and expand not just their human side but their spirit side as well. What you are doing is ripe with purpose, a beautiful gift.”
Tears formed in the corners of her eyes; I wasn’t sure if she absorbed my words, but she smiled a little. “But I am ready! I have packed my bags and I am ready to go!” she managed very very slowly.
“I know, but you are not done. You have purpose, you are needed here. Until that is finished you will stay, teaching others.”
After my visit I sat in my car and let the words sink in. My own mother had a chronic illness, she was a great teacher as well.
She always said, “Patience is a virtue.”
To which I would reply- “I don’t want to be virtuous!”
I have come to accept that all things have Divine Will and Divine Timing woven into the fabric of their existence. Indeed, it is a lesson offered once again in the eyes of a hospice patient.
I love what you told her. A thousand times yes! I see sacred contracts all around, and believe with certainty in those between the chronically I’ll and their caregivers. So beautifully worded.
thank you-I am grateful that these words resonated with you.
I am chronically ill and in my 20s. I remember I was 24 and lamented the same thing this woman said to my mother, and she echoed your words. My response was, “But I don’t want to be a ministry! I don’t want to be ministered to! It’s my job to give to the world! I want to give!” Because I had seen the toll my illness had taken on my family. I’m trying to find a place for myself now – a place online to give back – and I hope that’s a starting point. It often is for people in my condition.