Do you ever feel invisible as a caregiver? Pain is invisible. Grief is invisible. Our tears are usually invisible to others too. I guess about the only time I don't feel as invisible is when I go to the store - then I feel like we stick out like a sore thumb. I push Chris in front and pull a cart behind like a slow-moving train through the store. Can't miss that now, can we? lol
Sometimes, people can't and don't want to imagine our pain. Maybe they can't fathom our living grief. Maybe for some, seeing us reminds them of their own pain or grief they don't know how to deal with. Since I am the aide now, I take Chris with me everywhere - even to my doctor's appointments. They "accommodate" him - but they do not speak to him - or ask about him in any way. Does that strike you as strange? Maybe it feels odd since my whole life is wrapped up in taking care of him. Idk.
But every once in a while, someone breaks from this silent norm and steps out of all our comfort zones. Two times this week (maybe just because we are out more now!) people have actually spoken to him. That should not be a huge occurrence, but it is. On Chris' birthday which went largely forgotten (or ignored), I took him to Braum's for ice cream as a birthday treat. An elderly lady started walking toward us. She walked up and pointed to Chris and said - "I can tell you are someone special." When I told her he was indeed and it was his birthday - she broke out singing "Happy Birthday." Thank God for this angel!
Yesterday, as we got in the elevator to leave the heart hospital, an elderly man spoke to Chris - "Hello, young man how are you?" he said. I awkwardly explained that Chris is non-verbal but he hears and understands well. The man made no more attempts at talking to him. But at least he said hi!
As invisible as I feel - I wonder if Chris, in his silence feels even more invisible. Someone in a caregiver's group this week said an injury or a condition doesn't prevent the heart from feeling love. As caregivers, our pain is deep. Our grief is numbing. But we still feel both ends of the emotional spectrum from rejection to love.
We are not invisible to God. He sees us through and through. He feels our breath and senses every emotion, knows every thought, and perceives the depth of every single pain we sense. Sometimes, it feels so huge I can't even fathom that, but I'm thankful that He can see that deeply into emotions and feelings I don't even have words for.
Today, I will remind myself that we are not invisible to God. My thoughts will be on how He intentionally looks our way and how He purposefully touches those deep parts of our hearts. I'll be thankful that He draws near when I feel most broken. He soothes. He comforts. He heals hurts no one will ever know we have. Will you join me in thanking Him for that today?