Like Riding A Bike

Let’s think of caregiving as a bicycle.

What?

Sure we can! Why not?

What’s the most important part of a bicycle? What makes it go? The pedals? The wheels? Yes, they’re important, but they can’t take the bike anywhere on their own. The person sitting on the seat pushing those pedals and controlling the handlebars is surely the most essential part of making the bicycle move, and move in a good direction.

On our caregiving bike, that person is you. And I. The caregivers. Within us is the essential energy required to push the pedals and drive the bike. Each of us has it: a spirit rooted in love. Without it we wouldn’t be here traveling the caregiving road. It takes a lot of love to navigate the bumps and ruts and dips and potholes of this narrow, winding road.

It also takes good, strong tires. The best names to see going round and round on caregiving tires are Patience and Creativity. The One who created and manufactures those tires guarantees them for life. If we sense them growing flat or weak as we pedal forward, a mere thought will summon Help—more air and better tread for traction and wearability.

Patience. Creativity. Which one goes in back to push? Which goes in front to steer? After we’ve ridden for a while, we realize we don’t need to worry about that. With a spirit rooted in love operating the pedals and handlebars, we’ll get where we need to go.

And how about our loved ones? Where do they ride?

Sometimes in front, in the basket. Yes! The Manufacturer designed an infinitely flexible basket, made to hold our loved ones safely while helping them enjoy all the sights and sounds and sensations along the way: Cars and buses and other cyclists making their way down the road, people talking and birds singing, the brush of the wind and the warmth of sunshine.

On the grey days, even stormy ones, our loved ones ride in little trailers attached to the back of our bikes. Like a cocoon on wheels, each trailer keeps its precious cargo as comfortable as can be on our trip down the Alzheimer’s road. With spirits rooted in love, we go on pedaling through the weather, keeping watch on our loved ones by means of the I & I (Insight and Instinct) mirror mounted on our handlebars. Our words of reassurance are carried back to them on a breeze. We can even sing and know that—maybe not today, but someday—our loved ones will recognize love in the melody.

So come on, Caregivers! Let’s strap on our helmets and fasten our goggles and get on the road! We can’t predict what kind of terrain we’ll travel through today, but we know we can trust the One who has equipped us for the journey.

Lord, we thank You that we never travel alone. You go before us, behind us, on our right, on our left, above us, below us, within us, always. Help us to trust You more with every mile.

“Now may the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”   (Hebrews 13:20, 21   NKJV)

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About atimeformiracles

I'm a writer. And a speaker. And an advocate for victims of Alzheimer's. I write about a lot of things, but right now Alzheimer's has taken center stage. You'll see some of my work on my blog alzheimershopeandhelp.wordpress.com. If you're a caregiver, this blog is for you, from someone who has been in your shoes. I offer help in the form of tips and strategies gained through my personal experience. I offer encouragement in the form of witness: You are never alone. The God of all hope is always with you, and where He is, miracles abound. I speak to groups on the same subject, sharing helps and challenging caregivers to expect joy on the path through Alzheimer's. It's a rough road, but it leads through terrain of intense beauty. I can point out some of the miraculous sights along the way. In the U.S., a new diagnosis of Alzheimer's is made every 69 seconds. Please join me in praying for those suffering from the disease and for those who care for them.

4 thoughts on “Like Riding A Bike

  1. Great post, Kathleen. Not just for caregivers, for everyone. Whatever the problem, it’s pedal upon pedal, turn after turn of the wheels, that get us through life and help us enjoy the many blessings and miracles along the way.

    DiAne

  2. Pingback: Are You a Caregiver? | L.A. Freeland

    • Yes, Lyndie, especially in the area of children caring for aging parents, this already small world is indeed growing smaller. Very quickly. Speaking in terms of the bicycle metaphor, caregiving is almost always an uphill ride, but along the way you will behold beauty you could not have seen any other way. I pray you stay on the lookout for every bit of joy, every opportunity to laugh, and the daily miracles the Lord will hand you — every single day.

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