Caring for Parents - August 2020

Caring for Parents - August 2020

Dear Caregivers~

How is it the end of August already? It felt like I just planted my garden and now I’m pulling plants that didn’t produce and harvesting from those that did.

When I was out watering the other evening, I looked down and saw this flower hidden under the green leaves of the plant. It was a treat to find! I didn’t realize that this was a flowering plant. In the midst of the regular work of caring for the garden came a surprise and a delight. I experienced a moment of joy in the relatively mundane task of watering the plants. (And so, of course, I had to take a picture or three!)

The mystics often spoke of God meeting them in the midst of the ordinary or mundane. Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning writes the following in her poem Aura Leigh:

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes —
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware…

While caring for aging parents is often ordinary, sometimes mundane, and quite frequently hard work, I have also heard from caregivers stories of unexpected joy and peace as they experience love in a new, and often deeper, way; as they discover gifts and strength in themselves; as they learn how to release the desire to control outcomes and be in the present with their parent and with God. My intention is not to guilt those of you who haven’t experienced this. I simply invite you to keep your eyes open for moments of grace, love, and beauty for God is with you as you do the hard and holy work of caring for your parents. 

In Christ,
Pastor Rachel

PS. Here is a practical tip for those who may have to shave someone who is bed-ridden.
Last week the Globe & Mail shared about a product from Gillette, called Treo, which is “specifically designed for assisted shaving. …

Unlike a standard razor, Treo’s design is driven by the needs of two people, with the goal of offering a caregiver increased control, safety and comfort.”