Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.—MATTHEW 11:28 (ESV)
Early each day, I see the familiar flashing lights of our neighbor James’s bicycle from our front window. James is the sole caregiver for his wife Margaret, who has dementia. James tells me he gets his early morning exercise to give him the stamina to cope with whatever lies ahead of him that day.
Later that morning, I see James when he brings Margaret to OASIS—Older Adults Sharing In Service—a respite program for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. His eyes are red and swollen from lack of sleep. “It was a rough night,” he tells me.
“Why don’t you go take a nap, James?” I suggest.
“Nope,” he says, “I’m going to mow a couple of lawns. My neighbors are out of town, and I like doing that for them.”
Four hours later, I see a different James when he comes to get Margaret. He looks rested, refreshed, happy. After a little respite, James is ready to resume his most important role in life as caregiver of his beloved wife.
Dear Lord, help me encourage and support other caregivers.