Flying Over the Cuckoo’s Nest !

Early Sunday morning.

A harried, tired looking middle aged woman parks her car in front of the local supermarket  and enters the store at a run. She grabs a trolley and starts loading groceries into it. She needs ingredients for Sunday lunch for her family and  most importantly a new iron as the old one finally joined a row of others sitting cold and uselessly in the  laundry cupboard.

In record time she is at the cashier and pays her shopping. With a sigh of relief she heads towards the exit, thinking only one more errand to do. She stops at the in store ATM to draw cash.  She turns around to finally go home .

WHAT ON EARTH!!

Staring reproachfully at her is an empty trolley.  No shopping.

Did you see what happened. Someone swopped my full trolley for the empty one while I was not looking ” She shouts at a nearby security guard standing like a statue behind his little desk.

I see nothing”  he replies.

You are a security guard you should be watching !”  she shouts, feeling a mixture of panic, anger and tears welling up like a fountain inside her.

I don’t look I only watch my desk ” comes the sullen reply from the security guard.

She grabs the empty trolley and pushes it furiously towards the customer care counter while scrabbling inside her handbag for the cashier’s slip.

Ah found it! Clutching the only proof that she had just bought a substantial amount of goods from the store, she impatiently joins the queue at the customer care counter. She debates with herself, should she phone her husband  for help or should she try to solve the problem on her own?

Then a tap on her shoulder.

Is this your trolley madam?” another sullen voice asks. She looks and is flooded with relief.It is her trolley filled with bulging shopping bags.

Where did you find it ?” she asks

You left it and took the empty trolley,”  comes the reply.

Why didn’t you call me ? ” she asks.

“I knew you would come back for it ” is the only reply she gets before the woman walks away.

Is that possible she thinks, it was the end of a particularly difficult week, but would she do such a thoughtless thing?

Yes , You guessed right the woman is me and I feel as if I flew over the cuckoo’s nest and barely missed landing in it!

My loyal husband and children are of the opinion that I might have been the victim of a  clever robbery attempt.

Me? I have my doubts. Maybe I was heading for the cuckoo’s nest.

What do you think?

Help! How Do I Release the Pause Button ?

My life feels as if the pause button is stuck!

For the past 14 years while my father has been in a semi coma  after a mugging I have had the feeling that  the pause button of my life is stuck . Our  children were thirteen and  eight years old at the time and now the eldest is married and the twins are graduating from university this year.  Where have the years gone I wonder? It all seems like a blur of time spent  going through the motions of living while at the back of my mind I was always waiting for that one phone call saying that he had died.  Even so, when the phone call did come, it felt unreal!

Many times I had to force myself to do ordinary things like going away on holiday as I knew I also had a family who needed me.  On the other hand there was my elderly mother who insisted on caring for my father at home. I felt torn between two worlds. There was my own world, my husband, children, friends, work, leisure, shortly, the world of living a life and then the other world, the world of the slowly dying ! What torture to see  my once active, loving  and larger than life father slowly dying with the days becoming weeks, the weeks becoming months, the months becoming  years and  eventually 14 years and three months exactly.

Now I find myself in a kind of limbo, an in between world with my finger still on the pause button of life, still  waiting for the phone call, still unable to comprehend fully that he has been released  and me too. Or have I? Now there is my mother 89 years old, frail and sad but still insisting on living on her own!

I know I am not alone and that many middle aged women assume the role of caregiver for their aging parents. It is a fact of life that this role reversal takes place, but it doesn’t make it easier. I don’t want you to be under the impression that I resent fulfilling this role. No, I take up this challenge because I love and respect my parents. I just need to gather the courage and strength to run this race to the end with patience, love and grace.

Therefore I will hold on to the promise I find in Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.(NIV)