As it gets closer to Halloween, I've discovered that it gets harder and harder to write. And not just to write, but to pour myself into this project. Grief can make you feel like you are swimming with your clothes on. I can feel so heavy, that it requires slow, labored, intentional movements in order to survive.
Even mundane tasks during times like that are exhausting. And after Day 29, I am reminded how some people feel like that, emotionally or physically, every single day.
Yesterday, our Act of Kindness was to visit Lexi's grandmother. This past summer, she had a stroke and has been wheelchair-bound ever since. The last time I was out visiting her, she was playing with the kids, cooking from scratch and telling funny stories.
This visit was very different, and though she said very little, you could still see that mischievous little grin during playful conversations. Still, she is now completely dependent upon her children and grandchildren for her daily care, as well as for the managing of her home.
So, Lexi and I took London and Jay on the hour long drive out to the boondiggities to visit the apple farm where grandma lives. My goal was to give relief to Lexi's aunt, who is now living with grandma indefinitely to care for her. I have seen my mom diligently care for my great aunt and grandmother, both living with us at different times, and both with Alzheimer's, as well as a close family friend, Carol, who faithfully cared for her mother-in-law in her own home for years. Seeing it first hand made me aware that caring for elderly family members is certainly one of the most sacrificial labors of love I have seen expressed.
I fear that our visit, while a welcome distraction, probably was not a "break" for either of them. Let's be honest, any time I show up with my spunky London, really, only her own grandmas are relieved! London was really just in it for the apples, and Jay, he was in it for the opportunity to scavenge for whatever choking hazards he could find.
Needless to say, we were useless in the relief department, but I am going to pray that our visit was, if nothing less, a little break from that heavy, swimming-with-clothes-on feeling. Even if a visit with us is more like the shock of a skinny dip in arctic waters... it broke up the monotony. And while actual arctic skinny dipping would be horribly dangerous and ill-advised for a rehabilitating stroke-victim, a couple of silly kids is maybe just what the doctor ordered.
Plus, Lodon got those apples after all.