Why Can't You Visit Me? – Pandemic of 2020

Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.
Psalm 71:9

We are in the midst of the CoronaVirus Pandemic here in the United States of America…the world over. As I sit at home, I am capable of working on chores around the house, mowing the lawn, reading, writing, talking to others on the phone. Yes, I am a senior at age 72 and need to care for myself, which I am. I also like to be productive for God’s Kingdom. One thing I love to do is write notes to allow USPS to deliver. Yes, old fashioned snail mail! I put them in the mailbox down at the end of my block by either walking, riding my bicycle, or driving down there. Yes, mailing letters and notes is still something we have access to, even in technologically savvy days!

These notes I write go to homebound members of my church family as well as friends to let them know I am thinking about them, praying for them. I know that those living in nursing home and rehabilitation care facilities cannot receive visitors right now due to this pandemic. Online, I have seen sons and daughters finding innovative ways to visit: standing outside a window of the facility touching hand-to-hand with the one locked inside, a window in between. I have seem an adult-child and a parent sitting outside/inside calling on the phone, talking while looking eye-to-eye through that window. I just heard from a friend that a nurse at the facility set up a FaceTime for this daughter and father. I am sure there are more.

SO…I was a giver of care to my mother for 15 years as she aged near me, in a senior apartment, an assisted living, and a nursing home. Mama had Diabetes as well as Dementia. The latter ran like a roller coaster, worsening over the years.

The saddening thought for me is, “What if Mama were still alive today (she passed away 1-30-2013)?” With the type of Dementia that she had, some days she would be clear as a bell but so many days and nights were filled with fear, with hallucinations, confusion, anger. What if Mama could not remember that I could not come in the building? What if Mama got mad because I had not been in to hug her? touch her? laugh with her face-to-face? What if she missed me while she watched the Cubs on WGN-TV? What if? Because she had not seen me, touched me, hugged me…only heard my voice every day, several times a day. What if? (As I type these words, and it has been 7 years since Mama died, I am in tears because of these thoughts.)

So if I am thinking these thoughts now, what are you, dear giver of care, thinking, feeling right now? I am so sorry. I lift you in my prayers because I feel this; I understand this. I had to have a few surgeries during the 15 years I cared for Mama. I could not be there every day or even talk to her some days. I know, sweet friend. I am so sad and sorry that you are going through this with your loved one.

Oh, my heart breaks.

We must stand in the gap to pray for the residents who are truly bound in a home. Let us dwell in the shelter of the Most High.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I trust.” For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:1-3

…for their givers of care…those in the facilities and their family members.

I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:4

We must call upon God, our Rock and Refuge.

Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
You have given the command to save me,
for You are my rock and my fortress
. Psalm 71:3

God will bring us through this pestilence no matter the consequences. May we depend upon Him, the One Who has promised:

…even to your old age I am He,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
Isaiah 46:4

Pray to the One Who answers:

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah.
Psalm 61:1-4

He has given us His Word, His Truth upon which to stand.

Father God, these precious ones, these ones who may not understand why we have not been to see them, why we are not there to visit on the regular schedule we have been on for possibly years. Blessed Shepherd, please gather them all into Your safe keeping and grant them mercy, comfort, and grace in this time. If they suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, any kind of fear, loneliness, please hold them to Your bosom where they will feel safe and warm. Thank You, LORD. You are my Shepherd. I am so grateful to be in Your flock. I know where my life came from, and where I will go when I die. I will be with You for eternity. For any who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, I pray they will call upon Your Name in this darkness for You are Light. May all seek Your face and know to Whom they must turn: Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). I pray for their salvation. In Your Son’s Holy Name, I pray. Amen.

Thanksgiving, 2012

I have a series on Caregiving that I did while Mama was alive and reprinted afterwards for a few other sites. You can find the series posted at the top of this page or linked right here- Giving Care God’s Way

Photo of Mama, January, 2013: L. Gill

Broken Heart: Bible Study Tools

Isaiah 46:4 graphic: A Little Perspective Christine Miller

Sheep and Shepherd by Anton Mauve: Circa 1880, Cincinnati Museum; Public Domain @ Wikimedia Commons

Psalm 91:1 graphic: A Little Perspective Christine Miller

Photo of Mama, Kenneth and me, Thanksgiving, 2012: L. Gill

Heart: Icon by Dryicons

14 thoughts on “Why Can't You Visit Me? – Pandemic of 2020

  1. Linda, your precious words brought back so many memories to me of my days as a caregiver to my Mom. She went home to be with Jesus on April 30, 2010, but it seems like yesterday. Just like you, tears began to flow as I imagined how she would be if COVID-19 had happened while she was still living. Her last three years struggling with dementia were spent in an assisted living facility near our home, and I would go see her every day. She would have been so confused, and would have felt so abandoned if I had not been able to come see her. Praying now that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will wrap His loving arms around those in nursing facilities, and their families, He is close to the brokenhearted and heals those who are crushed in spirit. May they have a continual awareness of His Healing Presence and His Peace during this unprecedented time. Many blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Beth, it is so nice to see you here. Thank you for sharing how you would feel in this situation. Heartbreaking, yet trusting in the Lord is our real and only answer to all of this. You and I shared this care of our Mothers at similar times. Mama passed away January 30, 2013. Loving you,~ linda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda, This is such a beautifully written and poignant post reflecting something I’ve been thinking about as well. Not that I am effected in that way, but my heart just breaks for those who are still cognizant, yet are not able to understand why their loved one isn’t visiting them anymore.

    The verses you share here offer such hope and encouragement for those who ache for their loved ones in this way.

    It’s so nice to visit with you again!

    Blessings,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This certainly sheds a different light on COVID-19. It’s a sad, lonely virus! A friend sent me this link recently and it was really eye-opening to what doctors and nurses on the frontlines of this virus are facing. I have been compelled to pray for our healthcare workers even more! https://dnyuz.com/2020/03/24/when-you-die-of-the-coronavirus-you-die-alone/

    Thank you for these thoughts and for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whenever I drive by the nursing home where my mum spent her last days, I give thanks that she is not there now. She would never have understood why I couldn’t have visited her in these days of pandemic, and my heart aches for all those shut behind those closed doors.
    Thanks for bringing this to the attention of others, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is heartbreaking. Sadly, here in Canada care homes have lost many people already from this. It is so important for people to stay home. Hopefully families can find a way to visit virtually through things like Facetime, but i know that’s not always possible. Praying for the elderly as well as everyone involved with their care. Thanks for the reminder to pray!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve thought too that I’m actually glad my parents aren’t here to try to make it through this. 😦 It would have been very hard on them. I love that you have a snail mail ministry. Who doesn’t love getting an encouraging word in the mail? I have a postcard penpal that I wrote to this morning and was waiting for the rain to stop so I could put it in the mailbox. You’ve reminded I need to do it now before the mailman comes. I’m sad for the postal workers, but I appreciate that they’re keeping on!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is heart breaking. My Dad has been gone now for nine years. But I cannot imagine, what would have happened if we had to stop visiting when he was in assisted living. The isolation is so very sad for all involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sandy Nunn

    Linda, I just discovered your blog! You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself. I am going back to read others. I love ❤️ you as the Lord has taught us to do and miss seeing you at church!

    Sandy Nunn

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s so good of you to remind us of those who suffer in care centers. Suffering from loneliness and confusion…especially right now. My hubby is a pastor and one of our members has asked us all to send cards to her mom who is in a care center. I need to make the effort to do this continually (not just once!) Thank you for reminding people to remember those who are aging.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda as I look at your photo, I love the smiles…In difficult times!
    My parents live 5 hours from here, both are unwell. But we keep in contact by phone.
    They need to socially isolate, as do I for my chronic health conditions in this pandemic. It’s a difficult time…But God!
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Linda,
    This is so beautiful. Yes, may we remember to pray for those who are truly shut-in, and to pray for those loved ones who worry over them. And may we pray for those caregivers at facilities that are over-burdened with all of these issues today. Thank you for calling us to pray so sweetly.

    Liked by 1 person

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