Lessons in Grace with Great Aunt (part 8)

22 Jun

I procrastinated a little too long…

As with all of life, each day with Great Aunt brought new challenges.  At first, the walk from her living area to the bathroom seemed to be a good thing. It required her to get up, stretch her legs, and move regularly throughout the day.  In addition, it brought her into the main area of the house where all of the action was, providing some stimulating conversation with a multitude of young children.

Over time, as her health declined, it became evident that some changes needed to occur.  The bathroom was just too far away.  We searched for the best and most economical solution.  Installing a bathroom in an area of the house that had no plumbing would cost a fortune.  The next best option was a commode.  If you are not familiar with the term, a commode is a portable chair/toilet.  It was relatively inexpensive, had a reasonably sized removable container,  and looked easy to clean.  The Commode became part of our household.

It turned out to be a great success, equally helpful to both Great Aunt and myself.  For a time, it saved me much work.

I tried to get the routine down:  empty, disinfect, replace…  Sounds easy doesn’t it.  It truly was easy.  But… the babies needed to be fed, diapers had to be changed, laundry needs were continuous, beds must be made, hungry tummy’s required frequent cooking, gardens were maintained, homeschooling was in progress… and then I would remember – The Commode.  Quickly making a mental note,  I would remind myself to empty soon!  The telephone would ring, the toddler would fall and need bandaging, Great Aunt would like tea, lots of it  “nice and hot, with two teaspoons of sugar” …  Oh, yes! I was reminded… The Commode! On went the cycle, until at last – it happened.

In the kitchen, tending to the needs of the moment, I heard a strange, unusual noise.  Quickly running to check on Great Aunt, I suddenly knew I had procrastinated a little too long!  That “reasonably sized removable container” of The Commode, only holds so much weight and no more.  I allowed the limits to be tested too far.  Oh, how I wished we had linoleum floors rather then thick plush carpet! I felt so stupid, so embarrassed.  There was no one to blame but myself.  Not only did I have to clean up the mess,  while I cleaned, I carried the shame of my lack of care for her in this area.

Was I lazy? No, those days were never lazy, but I did put off something that was essential that needed regular attention.  We all do it.

So, today I am asking myself and asking you.  What is most essential in our lives?  What is more important than anything else?  Is it being tended?

Don’t let less important things crowd it out.  Be deliberate!

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