Bills!

Adult woman and senior mother

I will exalt you, O Lord, for you have lifted me out of the depths . . .—PSALM 30:1 [NIV]

It’s so easy to fall into the deep trap of self-pity and wallow around in it for a while. Honestly, it didn’t take much to get my mom feeling sorry for herself as her struggle grew more and more difficult. “It is neither healthy nor helpful to allow her to remain in that state for long,” Mom’s home health nurse told me. “Try to distract her and refocus her thoughts.”

I knew just what to do. There was one distraction guaranteed to pull Mom out of her dismal mood. All I had to do was say, “Want to talk about bills?” And suddenly, we would both be laughing, or at least smiling again. Mom and I began laughing about bills years ago, years before she got sick and not long after Dad died. We were sitting up late one night talking about him and feeling sorry for ourselves. It seemed impossible to keep the tears at bay. We could have easily gone into the ugly cry.

“We need to talk about something else!” Mom said.

“What about bills? I have lots. You?”

“Oh my, yes, heaps!” Mom said, chuckling. Then we were both laughing. We couldn’t seem to stop. Since that night, whenever either of us is in need of a little lift, the other will ask, “Want to talk about bills?”

Today's Prayer:

O Lord, please may I always be able to bring my loved one back to laughter.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts