Trust

Kathy is a teacher.
Her husband Rich
has his MBA,
but he no longer works.
Twenty years ago
he was in an accident
and suffered a traumatic head injury,
followed by several brain surgeries.
His physical and mental capacities
have become noticeably compromised.
Recently Kathy told me about a memorable experience
related to being Rich’s caregiver
that influenced how she gives care today.
One night he did not return from the restaurant
where he had gone alone to eat.
As he drove home,
he became disoriented and got lost.
Worse, he was caught in a terrible storm
with strong winds and heavy rain.
He called Kathy on his cell phone,
saying he didn’t know where he was
and didn’t know what to do.
As he was talking,
his cell phone battery went dead.
Concerned and frightened,
Kathy drove around in the dark looking for him,
but it proved useless and she returned home.
As she sat alone, crying,
wondering what she could do,
she ended up on her knees, praying.
In essence her prayer went,
“God, I’ve done all I can.
You’re going to have to take care
of the rest.”
Her prayer said, she suddenly grew calmer.
She got up and prepared for bed.
Minutes later Rich called.
He had found his way to a bar,
someone told him where he was,
and Kathy was able to meet him there
and take him home.
She had told me this story in response
to my asking about the lessons
her caregiving had been teaching her.
She said,
“I learned that night that
I have to place some of this responsibility
in God’s hands.
I do what I can,
and the best I can.
But I cannot do all.
I have to entrust the rest.”

Kathy is right.
We caregivers cannot handle absolutely everything
for the one in our care.
Sometimes we must sleep.
Sometimes we must be away.
Sometimes we reach the limits of our knowledge,
or our ability, or our ingenuity.
When we’ve done our level best,
and all that can reasonably be asked,
then ours is to do that next thing:
to allow some of the responsibility
to fall somewhere else,
trusting in the eventual outcome.
That Trust will hold.

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