Friday, December 14, 2012

Fully Functional Families

A friend in Coker Creek has Alzheimer's disease and mixes her present with her past. She's cared for by a combination of family members and visiting home health professionals, and obviously feels and is greatly loved. When I visit with her at her mother's home, she asks about her long-deceased daddy, insisting that she's seen him that very morning and has even played jokes on him.

She doesn't know that her sister with whom she lives is a relative, and believes that her mother is her granny. She seems happy in her child's world. How much more peaceful this must be than attempting to understand the changes that have transpired in her seventy-six years on earth. We are told that we should all have faith like that of a child. Maybe it comes from having loving family and friends with great faith and fun to share.

Another friend has a middle-aged son with schizophrenia, a genetic condition that must be carefully medicated for him to be functional. His mother is diligent in arranging for his medical care. She lost her husband a few years ago, and her son has become the man of her home. Between he and his nephew, whom his mother also raised, the two men manage to carry on the good neighbor traditions and values that were handed down from their patriarch. My friend provides home, hearth, and humor. They all seem to be greatly blessed.

A friend, who has since moved away from Coker Creek, has a grown son with Down's Syndrome.  Her husband's work has transferred the family many times to many places. When she and her family moved into Coker Creek, she told me that they had never been made more welcome by any community. Even though the only family they had in the area was their church family, they were never without respite care for themselves and their son.

It's a joy to be among people who have their lives paced in such a way as to be able to care for their friends and family members who are, in some manner, infirm. Where are we all racing in our efforts to "get ahead?" What values are being preserved in the anonymous masses of isolated citizens in most of our cities? Were humans really meant to be warehoused and watched over by police instead of being brought up in closely committed communities?

We disrespect those who care for, feed, and teach our young and infirm by paying them wages that we would not accept. Is there any compensation great enough for the absorption of another's Sacred Spirit? This is what those who care for others with love are sharing. Even saints need food, clothing, and shelter for themselves and their families. They should not have to beg for fair compensation because we don't want to admit our great need for them. We seek to make them vulnerable by underpaying them, when it would be to our benefit to do all we can to empower them.

Adam and Eve refused to admit that they needed the Elder of Their Community's guidance, and Cain refused to admit her could share in full community with his brother. We continue to deny that we need the faith and family of those who came before and know our needs, as well as committed community, in order to develop fully functional families and souls. When will we ever learn?

1 comment:

  1. You have found a great place, this Coker Creek. A well rounded community of love, neighbors and sincere friendship.
    Hugs from Orlando... Off for 7 days of crusin...