The sweetest lady took care of me last night…

Those of you who have followed this blog have noticed that I have been “quiet” for a while. Every now and then you simply need a little time to “refresh” yourself, and I guess that is what I have been doing. “They” tell us that most individuals conduct a “self-analysis” of their lives every 10-12 years – to determine if we are on the “right path;” or if our accomplishments have been what we strove to attain; or simply if we are “happy.” This self-examination often coincides with those birthdays that end in a “zero.” I have always been off schedule in that my self evaluations never coincide with the BIG birthdays…So I guess that is what I have been doing for the last 9 months or so. I keep thinking that maybe people are tired of my stories and that I should stop, but then I get an annual report that indicates I have thousands of followers in 77 countries. Those numbers simply take my breath away! I am humbled, and think, that maybe, just maybe, people need to hear some of my truths…and some of my craziness. So……I am back for a while. Hope you enjoy, and if you do, please become a follower, and leave me a comment now and then. I love hearing from you guys!

Most of you know that my Mama is the main reason for this blog, that she had Alzheimer’s Disease, and that some of the stories involve our journey through that living hell. Today is such a story. We tried to keep Mother at home, as long as possible, taking care of her ourselves. My Father was the main caregiver, with help from each of the children. Each month, I would go down and stay with them for a week or two at a time.

On this particular visit, Mama certainly recognized me, and during the days, we would visit, laugh, and love on each other. Each night, I would sleep in a bed right next to hers so that I would be able to hear if she needed something, or attempted to get up by herself. On this night, she woke up around midnight, needing to go to the bathroom. We kept a potty chair at her bedside during the night to make everything easier and more comfortable for her. I got up and helped her get out of bed, and assisted her with both verbal direction and physical assistance. When your brain is atrophying, and signals are being neither sent nor received, something so simple as going to the bathroom can become a huge challenge for both the caregiver and the person needing care. It took us a while, but with patience, compassion, and simple communication, we were able to accomplish what she needed.

The next morning, Mama woke up early, all bright and cheerful. I jumped up, went over to her, gave her a kiss and said, “Good morning!” As I was helping her up for that first cup of coffee, she looked at me and said, “The sweetest lady helped me all night long! She was so nice!” I looked at her and said, “Mama, that is wonderful! I am so glad that someone sweet was there to help you.”

Now, as we know, I WAS THAT SWEET LADY! In the night, she never knew, or recognized, that it was her own daughter providing care and assistance. And for me, it just did not matter! I did not care WHO got the credit for providing the care. I was just glad that she saw me as someone who was caring, sweet, and willing to help.

This event made me wonder how we view ourselves when helping another person(s), and why we choose to help someone else. I am not referring to just health care, or physical assistance. I’m talking about ANY time we provide help, whether it is giving someone directions who is lost, holding a door open for someone out of courtesy, slipping someone a little cash to cover an unmet need, lending physical assistance when friends are moving into a new house, or just listening when someone needs to talk. It could be ANYTHING!! Do we provide help because we want recognition or credit that we “did a good deed,” or because it makes us look good to others? Is it a selfless act, wanting nothing in return? Or do we want “credit where credit is due?” I often wonder if we would be as generous in our giving, if we knew no one would ever know… A.M. Burton, grandfather to Amy Grant (a well-known gospel singer), stated the following: “Life is made up of golden chances, opportunities to do good. One lost is lost forever. If we miss doing a kindness to a friend, we can never do that kindness again. If we might speak a pleasant word, or offer a bit of worthwhile counsel or advice and fail to do so, we can never have just that opportunity again. Giving is a way of life.” I want my giving and helping to be selfless. I don’t need the recognition or credit. I want it to be given out of caring and love. Won’t you join me? Just for this week…



9 thoughts on “The sweetest lady took care of me last night…

  1. Theresa Thorland says:

    Cat, what a wonderful end to me day to check emails and see your post!! So glad you are back. You are one of the sweetest ladies I know.


    • Cat Selman says:

      Thank you so much Theresa! You always say the kindest things about me. (Maybe because you aren’t around me ALL the time?? LOL!) I do try hard to be a person with a sweet spirit. Love you!

  2. Bobbie Crout Hunt says:

    Cat, could not have said it better. I love to read your messages. Keep them coming.

  3. Gayla Gibbs says:

    What sweet words from my sweet Friend. We sure could share some stories about our parents. When you talk about your Mom, I see mine. I hate this disease. It robs them of so much. I will always cherish those final days with my Mom. Even though her memory had failed her, she had such a loving spirit. Thank you for sharing your precious stories and memories with all of us. Love you !!!!!!

    • Cat Selman says:

      You know that I have loved you from the moment we met as friends at TNU! It broke my heart to learn that you were experiencing the very same journey with your Mom, as I was with mine. And I am thankful that both of them maintained that sweet, loving spirit to the very end. It could have been so different! Know that you matter so much to me, my forever friend!

  4. D. Ygama says:

    Love reading this, although it did make me sad to think that you had to face this. There was so much depth in this blog, made me think about so many things. Your Mom was the sweetest woman. And your memory and writings keep her memory alive. Thank you for writing this blog, I sure got a lot of insight for myself. Love you Cat! Thank you for being a wonderful friend! PS this is my first email sent in a week. I had to tweak my computer, it was all messed up. Hope this goes through! 🙂


  5. Cat Selman says:

    You know I like to make you think, especially since you NEVER do that!!! LOL! You are one of the best, sweetest friends I have. You force me to expand my thinking and philosophy of life, and I thank you for that. I am loving that you live so close now, and that we get to play together. Love you too, Ms. D! (And glad the computer is now working…)

  6. Jan Doerr says:

    I love all your stories – keep them coming please
    Jan Doerr

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