Is today hard? It feels hard. In fact, now that I think about it, every day last week felt hard, too. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s stress from handling all the stuff and things, or maybe it’s the sundowning my mom has been experiencing lately… Also, if you’re wondering what sundowning is, it’s a sunofabitch… or if you google it, you’ll get something like this:
“The term “sundowning” refers to a state of confusion occurring in the late afternoon and spanning into the night. For people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological disorders, Sundowning can cause a variety of behaviors, such as confusion, agitation, anxiety, aggression, or ignoring directions. Sundowning can also lead to pacing or wandering.” And Googles’ not wrong, yall.
As I said, sundowning is a sunofabitch… It means waking up at 2 am to find my mom rearranging and moving furniture. It means mixing up words which she will tell you is-so-advertising and it means refusing to use her walker because She-is-Fine and doesn’t need it… and before you start giving me the side-eye, it’s true, none of those things are all that difficult to deal with… However, there is one thing I have trouble with and that is her agitation. Sometimes, the things she says, along with the tone of her voice, poke at those hurt places within me and suddenly I’m feeling like an arms-crossed-foot-stomping-child, on the inside…. And ya’ll, its-so-hard… I think it’s because I’m a little more inclined to feet-stomping than I am to feet-washing, especially when it comes to my mother. I wish I could say that during those moments when she unleashes her agitated-energy towards me that I always stay quiet, calm, peaceful … because “a gentle answer turns away wrath” (Prov. 15:1), I don’t always. I’m human.
Most of the time, I do, however, there are times when I meet her agitation with a few colorful words, and then I walk away… and then 30 mins later I’m helping her fragile naked body into the shower, and I’m kneeling down to wash her feet, literally. It truly is one of the most humbling experiences, ya’ll, and I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunity, no- really, I am, even on the hard days, God is good.
Lord, grant us special grace for all the special people in our lives, especially the overly critical, agitated, confused, and angry ones… confident that I have been that kind of “special” to others. May this grace free us from our easily bruised pride., May it Help us to be better listeners and quick forgivers… and may the spirit incline us to be feet-washers instead of foot-stompers… so that we may thrive in kindness, gentleness, and humility… so we may love loving others well…