Sunday, August 19, 2007


I was watching the news the other morning about the earthquake in Peru. The reporter, who was live by satellite from the scene, told about how difficult it was to get there. They had to travel by 4-wheel drive vehicles and drive through streams and around other obstacles.

He said that water was in such short supply that people along the way would run after them begging for water.

They didn't stop but continued to their destination so they could set up to report the story I was watching. Very likely those poor people who were begging for water experienced the same disappointment again and again that day.

Rescue and relief requires a good number of people who have to be narrowly focused on the goals they've been assigned. An ambulance dispatched to a specific address can't really stop to help someone else encountered in route. Or a crane truck or a dog rescue unit or workers each would have to continue on to their particular assignment and drive by other disasters.

I bet it is hard on the people though to have to ignore the cries for help and keep on going. I know it would just kill me to have to drive past people begging for water or needing help of some other kind and ignore their pain and suffering. It takes discipline and fortitude to do that. And still it must take a toll.

Caregivers have to be like that.

The loved one who is the patient is the mission. His or her needs take precedence.

Sometimes it seems exactly like we drive past those begging for water, too, in order to meet those needs. And often those others begging for water are themselves people we love.

Still it is hard to get that image of driving past people begging for water out of my mind.


Lori1955 said...

This brings to mind when my mother was dying. Helen was still in the early stages of this disease where I could leave her during the day but not at night. Every morning I got up at 6 and drove the 50 miles to be with mom and at 7 at night I drove back to be with Helen. Each time I felt bad about leaving Helen behind and then again about leaving my mom. It is so hard when you are torn like that. Yes it's like passing people by who are begging for water.

flintysooner said...

I had that with my mom and dad when mom was so sick here at home. Then I had to focus on mom and I worried about dad. Now it is my wife and my kids and grandkids and extended family.

~Betsy said...

I describe it as being the lady in the circus keeping the spinning plates on the stick. I have so many things going - work, mom, husband, kids. I worry I am spread too thin to do a good job with any of the responsibilities. I guess all we can do is our best and hope the plates don't crash to the ground.

Great analogy about begging for water, Flinty. Thanks for this post.

steflovesnonna said...

Did you watch it? Did you? Did you? hehe I hope you did and I hoped you liked it. *huggles*

flintysooner said...

I did watch it - I'll try to get a post up tomorrow maybe.

nancy said...

very interesting post. i liked betsy's analogy of the circus woman with the spinning plates. you give enough attention to keep it spinning but really only give it more if it starts to go out of control.

all AD caregivers must feel that way sometimes. that they are passing up those begging for water.

i agree, it is a sad image to get out of one's mind.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that, Flintysooner. Caregiving takes inner strength that must be guided by God. I could never have made it through without knowing He was ALWAYS there for me.