Breaking Point


The work stories keep coming. Sorry if you are tired of my points and processing of life in hospice care but that’s where I am. Besides, it’s either hospice or boys (rather, the lack of them). Leave your vote below in the comments.

I had my first experience with “weekend on-call” today. I knew my boss’s wife still wasn’t strong enough from her shoulder surgery to move him on the stander from the bed to his wheelchair, let alone the bathroom transfers. While hospice workers are available to help, there are some activities that are hard to plan. Thus, I knew with her shoulder, I needed miss Liturgy and help out.

They were thankful that I was coming, although reticent to make me miss church. I missed praying this morning, I missed seeing those who believe the same as me, and I missed the encouragement of The Church as Lent approaches. Yet, I am reminded that when Christ is telling the parable of the sheep and the goats, he doesn’t ask the goats whether they came to church every Sunday or did their quiet time or prayers every day. Nor does he commend the sheep for their unwavering church attendance and faithful practice of daily personal study.

I am not advocating a radical shift from spending Sunday mornings in church or complete lack of knowledge of the scriptures and lack of practicing daily spiritual disciplines. Sometimes, the hours you are needed most happen to be from 9 AM-noon on a Sunday.

This morning had a breaking point. A time where the disappointment, frustration, sadness, anger, et cetera, build so that you can not keep staving off the inevitable. The emotions have to come out.

I could tell my boss was having a more contemplative day, but as we finished dressing and transferring him into his wheelchair this morning, he began to cry. After a few minutes of questions, eventually, he was able to get the words out: “I’m just tired of being like this.”

And his wife and I just left it that way. She held him. I finished administering medication through his PEG tube and cleaned up. And I held his hand. We cleaned and dried his BiPAP mask, wiped his eyes, and helped him blow his nose. The only thing to say was, “I know.”

The rest of the day was a bit somber. It wasn’t awkward; I didn’t feel any need to tip-toe around his sadness and frustration. The day just was.

I typed a few emails for him, played with the pooch, and made sure everything was set for the evening. On the way out, I always do one last check and say good-bye. We chatted a bit, and I attempted to let him know that he was safe feeling that way in front of me.[It came out more like “I hope you have a better day. It’s okay to be frustrated.”]

Life is better when you can let out your emotions, even if it isn’t the time you’d prefer or if it occurs in front of others. And from my experience with breaking points, both having them and being around others, unless there really is a clear solution, it’s best to just say nothing. God is always present, merciful, and compassionate; sometimes he is silent.

Maybe we should be too.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Boss's Wfie
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 02:55:32

    Geek Boss’s wife here! I clearly remember this day and I am so forever grateful for all that you have done for the both of us. The Brain, as you know, is able to confide in you when he cannot talk to me about certain things. We are so so blessed to have you in our life.

    Reply

  2. Dianne Jones
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 20:09:38

    Jesus taught us that caring for and showing the love of the father to others was massively more important than any “religious keeping of the sabbath” aka church attendance etc. You were showing His love to this couple in their time of need which is far more valuable than attending Sunday service… You have not forsaken the gathering of your church family, just missed one time – so what – you can’t be everywhere all the time. Keep your thoughts on Jesus and get some private worship time. All will be well, despite the circumstances you are going through.

    Reply

  3. Cathi Willms aka "Mom"
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 20:15:10

    The best compliment I ever get as a care provider is when someone feels “safe” enough to be honest. I’m thankful you’re allowing Jesus to be there through you. BTW, Jesus showed up in “church”, healed someone and got in a lot of hot water. You brought Him to work with you and a couple of people’s hearts were better off because of it. I’m pretty sure that was fine with Him.

    Reply

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