Jane (and Mimi, Chris, Janet, et al)
It's sometimes very hard when we are suffering, or watching those we love suffer, to understand why. I, myself, use the Serenity Prayer:
GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and the
wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen (Reinhold Neibuhr-1926)
Yeah, I confess, I just did a copy/paste from another site.
I also find comfort in the song Janet posted. :-)
In my situation, I figure that dealing with my Mom is a dress rehearsal for when hubby's condition gets worse, or dealing with my bachelor brothers as we all age. I was never fortunate enough to have children of my own - so my caretaker role is a substitute for being a parent.
I'm not religious per se - but I do feel spiritual about things - that things happen for a reason - that everyone has a purpose - that if one looks hard enough, there is beauty in all things. Some days are just harder than others, and sometimes the hard days are strung together until it's sometimes difficult to remember what a good day is like. So I've learned to find blessings in small things and give thanks for all that I have. At least I don't live in Darfur.
I suffered from clinical depression when I was 21. I spent several weeks in a hospital, where I learned that as bad as things were for me, I didn't have to look far to find someone worse off. I also started then to "accept the things I cannot change" and "change the things I can."
So, I don't know, dear Jane, if what I've said has been any help. I do believe in the power of prayer... mine are for you tonite.