“Aaron, look!!” I exclaimed one recent night as I closed our family room blinds. Aaron walked over to join me at the window. There, emerging from the grass in our front yard, were dozens of fireflies. Lightning bugs, we called them where I grew up in West Virginia.
Aaron thought they were very cool! He insisted that Gary come to the window as well, and so we stood there together for a minute, enjoying the sparkling little bugs.
A few nights later, Gary and I sat on our front porch after the stifling heat of the day had subsided somewhat. It’s nice for us to enjoy a few moments of quietness and of being together, just the two of us without Aaron’s loud interruptions. As dusk fell and darkness was encroaching, up from the grass once again came those beautiful fireflies.
It was captivating watching their glow, so many of them combining into a magical light show right in front of us. So peaceful.
Out on the porch rushed Aaron, who is rarely quiet. There went the peacefulness of our front porch evening!
“MOM!! Are we watching a Little House tonight?” he asked, knowing the answer.
I assured him that we would watch an episode, as always.
But, as always, that wasn’t enough for Aaron.
“When?” he asked. “Can we do it now?”
I knew what was ahead but wanting to remain in the magic of firefly glow I told Aaron that I would let him know when I was ready. This answer never suits Aaron.
One of the very hardest things for Aaron to do is to wait…on anything. He especially finds it nearly impossible to wait on me to watch a program with him when HE is ready. He escalates quickly into anger at those times, no matter what I say or how well I prepare him for the inevitable wait. That night was no exception.
Our evening was quickly reverting from magical to maddening.
Such is often the life of a caregiver.
My blogging friend, Cheryl, is the author of a caregiving blog written out of her experiences as she cares for her husband who has Parkinson’s. Our situations are very different but also very similar. I have loved her insights and her godly wisdom.
In one recent blog…linked here… (https://parkinsonscaregivernet.wordpress.com/2020/06/13/similar-yet-different-but-really-similar/) – she wrote:
“But we live for the moments of joy: seeing our loved one smile, hearing them recount experiences from the past, watching them respond to family and friends, hearing them tell a favorite joke. Those moments may be brief, so we hold them sacred in our hearts and bring them to mind when the times are difficult. Another is the joy of knowing we are doing our best, that we are doing the right thing, that we are doing God’s work here on earth by caring for our loved one. Let’s not forget that, especially when the moments are difficult or uncomfortable.”
The difficult moments with Aaron often involve his autistic behaviors…his demands that life revolves around HIS order and expectations of how things are to be. During those times, no one else’s desires or needs are considered by Aaron to have importance.
On our firefly night, we told Aaron that he needed to wait. We tried to get him to enjoy the magical lights in our front yard but he was blinded by his own frustrations and cared nothing for the beauty around him. Only one thing mattered. And he wanted that one thing NOW.
Anger intruded into our evening and stood on our front porch, as opposite in its effect as could possibly be when compared to the earlier joy of time together with Gary among the little sparkles in our yard.
Later, the anger was gone as Aaron and I watched our show. Aaron is usually oblivious to the effect he has on us during those times as he brushes off the recent outburst and is happy in his bubble again, where all is well.
Oh, that it was so easy for me to do the same!
Like Cheryl said, though, it’s important to hold the moments of joy sacred in our hearts and in our memories. And to know that we, as caregivers, are doing God’s work here on earth.
My heart this morning was heavy as I helped Aaron during his second seizure…knew that I would have bedding to wash later…canceled my hair appointment…and tried to still my worried heart about other matters.
I had finished my normal Bible study and so I opened my Bible randomly to see where my eyes fell. I love doing that! It’s like opening a treasure box that I just unearthed, excited to see what’s inside!
And look what God gave me!!
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)
It’s all in God’s hands!
Aaron…me…Gary…others I love…our world…
All life and breath is in God’s hand. All of creation declares that truth!
Now it’s up to me to trust our loving God and to rest in His hand. And to…most importantly…trust Aaron into His hand and know that God put Aaron into our lives for a purpose I may never know on this earth.
But may I trust God’s knowing. Trust and know just as much as the beasts and the birds and the bushes trust and know Who has done all this!!
Fireflies know, too, I am sure.
Maybe that’s why they shine their magical lights for all to see!
May I do likewise.