Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weeping in the wee hours

3:27 p.m. Today's project was to provide a pleasant morning for Steve.

This was particularly important because the last few days, he's been waking up crying. He would do this maybe once a year over the many years we've been married, or be crying in the shower when I got up after him. Sometimes his nightmares would get very sad, his frightened voice sounding more like a young boy than a grown man. When I asked him what was going on that time years ago when he cried in the shower, he replied, "I was thinking about my dad."

I'm not sure what to make of this, because his dad passed away with complications of dementia when my older daughter was a 6 month-old baby. And his mom has been gone since 2007. His older brother died in 2010, and no pertinent information has come forward from his two older sisters.

Since Steve became seriously afflicted with dementia in 2009, I haven't noticed too much sadness, although he'd express inferiority because "everyone has something to do, they all have jobs, and I can't do anything." That is understandable from a man whose 35-year work life came to a premature halt in the prime of his life, during his highest earning years. Later, he would express frustration about his inability to write and loss of speech. But he didn't even argue about giving up driving in September 2009. In the last year, Steve has been calm and good-humored, accepting of his condition, with only occasional breakdowns of crying when he'd tell me that "all I wanted to do was help people," which he loved to do for others on his only day off--fixing car problems, hanging doors,  etc. Now, of course, he has become severely limited--needing much help himself with every basic aspect of living. But he'd slept soundly and awaken in a cheerful frame of mind, laughing with the caregivers and me, and even doing tiny dance steps!

So this recent crying seems to be coming at the same time as are improvements in walking and talking. I mused aloud to a caregiver a couple of mornings ago, "maybe with increased cognition is coming realization of his situation." That is entirely possible, I guess, because at the time my late  mother had her stroke, the doctor prescribed a medication for depression, a common result of the realization of losing one's abilities all at once. Ecclesiastes 1:18 says,

For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Think of times when you've thought, "I wish I'd never heard that!" when an unfortunate piece of information comes your way unbidden. Or consider the high suicide, divorce or drug addiction rates of psychiatrists or other brilliant, celebrated professionals.

In Steve's case, maybe the same increase in brain function that is getting his legs and tongue to move more correctly, is bringing the facts of his condition to his attention once again. Or difficult childhood memories are being unearthed after three years of dormancy...only the Lord knows each aspect of the thought process that He has created in Steve. But with each new development, He will lead me with certainty how to best to serve my husband.

In addition, I am certain of this: only knowledge gained for God's purposes and in God's way will have value, now and for eternity! Colossians 2:3 says of Christ, whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Tapping into that treasure is wisdom itself!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing! Colossians 2:3 was super encouraging. Lately I am being refreshed by things I read, yet have read before.