Let’s think of caregiving as a bicycle.
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)