Certainly there are more significant measuring tools for life, but tacky Christmas lawn displays oddly provide a unique window to our story.
Pre-Multiple Sclerosis and in the earliest years, I confess, I was one of those obsessive types who created electrical wonderlands. Even written up in the local paper with holiday homes to drive by. <grin>
With MS progression and as caregiver demands increased Christmas lawn displays faded and eventually disappeared.
“Disposable” time for hobbies or fun is a luxury in caregiving.
Last night I was tooling away creating and said to myself, “Self why not go pick up Patti and include her?” … I never got another moment to spend on decorating. <grin>
Patti wanted nothing to do with sitting outside in the snow holding strings of lights. I can’t leave her unattended in the house, so inside we came. … and the worse case scenario began to play out a bowel accident.
Weight lifters in gyms may think nothing of dead lifting their body weight but let me tell you, dead lifting a human is not like a barbell. I weigh 172, Patti weighs 150. I have to lift her out of her chair and onto a bed to change her.
Undressing, changing, and dressing an infant is similar only in concept to caring for an adult. The physical demands are exponential.
When finished I must again dead lift her back into her wheel chair and begin clean up and a couple loads of laundry.
What was I doing?? … Oh yeah! For some insane reason decorating the lawn. And if Patti wasn’t enough I had to go to war with plastic baby Jesus to change his light bulb.
As I was threatening plastic baby Jesus after he bit me and my finger is bleeding, Megan laughs, “Dad I think you are loosing the Christmas spirit.”
Then Patti looks at the finished lawn display and remarks, “It’s cute but I really only want a cigarette.” (????)
Why do I try? … perhaps I find sanity in snow falling on tacky lawn displays. <grin>
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer