When Grace opened her front door she was greeted with a steamy wave of heat. “Oh Boy”, she thought, “I’ll be damp as my dish towel by the time I get to that mailbox!” As she braved the heat, Grace collected the usual barrage of circulars, realtor postcards, and insurance statements. One calligraphic envelope fell to her feet:
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Walker, Jr.
are pleased to invite you
to the wedding of their daughter
Jonathan Spencer Wilkinson
September Eighth, Twenty Seventeen
Five O’Clock in the Evening
Blue Ridge Horse Farm
“My darling niece!” Grace thought, her heart swelling with joy as she perused the invitation. “Steph is marrying that fine young man!” As she walked back to the house Grace wondered, “how will I ever attend this wedding?”
Don’t we all like to receive elegant invitations? It is especially wonderful to be included in wedding celebrations, as they have become such exclusive events. Just as Grace expressed, invitations evoke gratitude, excitement and sometimes a bit of anxiety:
“What will I wear?”
“Can we afford the trip?”
“Who will take care of Howard?”
Grace’s husband, Howard, had just entered a new phase of his Alzheimer’s Disease. Just last year, he would have happily attended the wedding with just a little difficulty remembering names and faces. Now Grace found that he was distressed in unfamiliar territory and agitated each evening around the time the ceremony would take place. While Grace relished the idea of attending, she could not imagine Howard making the trip. She couldn’t ask her family, as they all would want to be there too, and she just couldn’t impose on her friends. Grace had heard about companies that provide home care assistance, but she had never thought she would need one. What to do?
It is easy to accept invitations from people we know, and for those of us who love parties, we eagerly respond YES!! But even the most gregarious party goer hesitates when invited to events where we don’t know a soul. In the same vein, while we eagerly invite our best friend over for a cup of tea with a simple “please don’t mind my mess!!” it’s not so easy to invite strangers in.
In today’s Gospel, (Mk 6:7-13) we hear about Jesus preparing his disciples to accept invitations into people’s homes. He gives them the authority to care for others, and prepares them for what lay ahead:
Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet. (MK 6:10-11)
Just as Jesus taught the disciples, AKOTA Home Care teaches our caregivers to respond to Jesus’ message to listen, love and serve. Before our caregivers enter anyone’s home, we invest in their personal and professional growth to ensure compassionate and competent care for all our clients. Our caregivers are trained to understand and minister to people with all sorts of disabilities, including Alzheimer’s disease, and know just what to do to be a welcomed helping hand. Beginning with our initial assessment, we listen to your wants and needs, making sure that our care matches your expectations. When your need for care is done, we gently recede from your lives, just as Jesus asked his disciples to do.
Invitation is more than a gracious acceptance to an elegant party, it is the humility to invite others into your life to care for you, or your loved one.
Grace knew that if Howard welcomed a new person to care for him well before the wedding, it would be easier for her to leave him for the entire weekend. So Grace called us, asking for a caregiver whom she could invite into her home one day a week until the September wedding. Our caregiver, Veronica, responded to Grace’s invitation to tend to Howard, and formed a bond with him well before the wedding day.
Each day AKOTA Home Care is graciously invited into a variety of homes to love and serve those who need a little bit more care than families can provide. We respond to that invitation with the same awe-inspired gratitude Grace felt when she received the wedding invitation.
Is it time for you to open your door, and invite in a healing touch? Are you ready to invite a disciple into your home to care for your loved one? We are happy to come in and help.