No Suggestions Please; Just Read.

Welcome back to WeAreCaregivers.com. I’m Heather Jose, your host, and I will return with a personal column next week. TODAY, please enjoy two new, heartfelt columns: First, in the main pages of ReadTheSpirit, Tyler Stocks writes about growing up with autism. Then—right here—the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Pratt returns with a column we are sure you’ll want to share with others. It’s called simply …

No Suggestions Please; Just read.

Rocker at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill KYBy the Rev. Dr. BENJAMIN PRATT

No suggestions please;
Just read. Just see. Just hear.

The weather outside is mild, gloomy—rain is predicted but not anticipated.

She sits in front of the fire wrapped in a soft, deep blue prayer shawl, crafted by a friend with love.
She shakes against the cold that is more a part of her body than the room—she curls in to contain warmth she wishes were hers.
The pain started where it always starts—behind her left shoulder. It creeps slowly up her neck and around her left ear. Nothing stops it this time!

She requests the heated collar for her neck, an ice pack for her eyes. Then, she lies back in her chair—quilted robe, quilted socks, shawl, heat collar, ice pack, roaring fire.
Sometimes we rock together, but today she wants to sink back on her own. She nestles the plastic buds into her ears—those links to sanity and distraction, an audio book. It must always be read well and, as she always instructs: hopefully not by the author. She wants it read with feeling and clarity.

Set now?
No, one more item—a trashcan with a plastic liner for a sudden bout of vomiting that may come with little warning.
And now? Set? I know the rules:
No Loud Noises!
No Jarring, Bright Lights!
They deepen the pain.

No suggestions please;
Just read. Just see. Just hear.

This bout has lasted nine days.
My regular gait  has moved to tiptoes. I am the caregiver and, once set for a while, I move on to read, write, pray, hum. All quietly. I ponder. Responsive and purposeful. A veteran. And still honestly—filled with hope. Yet, sad.

Sometimes I picture God. We have a lot in common, now. God and I ache about our loved one and often feel helpless.
We are in a rocking chair. Sometimes, she and I rock together. Today, I am holding and rocking God. Other times, God is holding and rocking me. God and I sing a gentle song to each other.

No suggestions please;
Just read. Just see. Just hear.

“I am holding you, my beloved, and rocking you with love. I wish I could do more, but faithful presence and loving faithfulness is who I am.”

God and I rock each other and sing those words of Grace.

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