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Posted: August 24, 2006

Spousal Caregiving

More 'Dog Days' Humor (Can We Stand Any More?)

Bill AndrewIn last week’s column Dog Days Humor (August 17, 2006), we discussed the "dog days of summer" and how they came to be identified as such. We also recommended humor as a form of relief for some of the lethargy, dullness, inactivity, stagnation, and oppression caused by the unusual heat and humidity that many of us have experienced during this summer of 2006.

In this column, I offer some additional humor for your consideration and relief. Hopefully, you and your loved one will laugh out loud together and talk about what each of these anecdotes means for you. Here goes:

  • I don't now why some people change churches; what difference does it make which church they stay home from?
  • A lot of church members who are singing "Standing on the Promises" are just sitting on the premises!
  • We are called to be witnesses -- not lawyers or judges!
  • Be ye fishers of men. You catch them -- He will clean them!
  • Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous!
  • Don't put a question mark where God has put a period!
  • Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church (in a box)!
  • Forbidden fruits create many jams!
  • God doesn't call the qualified -- He qualifies the called!
  • God grades on the cross -- not on the curve!
  • God loves everyone -- but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"
  • God promises a safe landing -- not a calm passage!
  • He who angers you, controls you!
  • If God is your co-pilot -- swap seats!
  • Prayer: don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!
  • The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us!
  • The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you!
  • We don't change the "message" -- the "message" changes us!
  • You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him!
  • The best mathematical equation: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given!

Obviously, you noticed something unique about this humor -- it came with a message! That message is that God loves you! He loves you as a spousal caregiver taking care of your loved one. That’s the common "thread" throughout this column as well as last week’s humor column -- that we must be a God-fearing and prayerful people.

In a survey done several years ago, it was reported that 90% of family caregivers reported that praying, seeking advice, and reading about caregiving helped them. Of that number, 73% of family caregivers reported that praying helped them cope with the stresses of their caregiving responsibilities. In other studies, it has been reported that humor also reduces these incurred stresses. Therefore, I submit that the above anecdotes combined the best of both worlds -- humor and prayerfulness.

While this humor addresses family caregivers, as such, it can be directly applied to spousal caregivers as well – after all, are we not family? Much of what I write in this column, as a spousal caregiver, can be applied to all caregivers because we are in the same boat!

Perhaps I am prejudiced, but I contend that spousal caregiving is most difficult simply because of our relationship to our spouse over the years. As the Bible says, "two became one" when we took those marriage vows. I also contend that without prayer -- and humor -- we spousal caregivers can easily "die on the vine!" What do you think that’s true?

If you would like to share your thoughts and experiences with other readers of this column, drop me an e-mail at ASKBill@caregivershome.com.

WORDS TO CARE BY . . .


"Humor is our way of defending ourselves from life's absurdities
by thinking absurdly about them"


Lewis Mumford (1895-1990)


Bill Andrew identifies himself as a former “nutritionally-empowered Alzheimer’s caregiver” who attributes the slow-down in progression of Alzheimer’s disease in his wife, Carol – and the growth of his own personal emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual capability and strength to provide quality 24/7 care for her in their own home – to the targeted nutritional supplements they both took on a daily basis. Carol went to her Heavenly reward on June 9, 2008 – Bill continues on to advocate for family caregivers. Contact Bill with your caregiving questions and comments via email at ASKBill@caregivershome.com.

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© 2006 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

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