What a difference there is between the two! You can care very deeply but care-giving is a whole different thing. You have to be prepared to do the really intimate and often unpleasant tasks for the person you care for. For some years in England I worked nights and weekends at a care home, looking after the elderly. I had to wash them, change their diapers, bathe them and put them to bed. I didn't find that a strain or a problem because they were used to being taken care of and didn't really put up any resistance to the care routine. Plus, they weren't family and I was detached from them, though I liked my oldies and found them very interesting and loving human beings.
Bearing in mind that I'd already done all this, I didn't expect to find it difficult to care for my mother whom I love dearly. However, Baba has other ideas! She is very strong-minded (polite way of saying stubborn), and resists any instructions or requests that would make it easier for her care-givers! Plus, it is not a night or weekend caring stint, it is every day, every night. I cannot resign or say I don't want a shift, thank you very much.
I think this is Baba's way of showing me how low my tolerance levels really are. I always prided myself on being tolerant and patient, especially with people who were weak or unwell. He is clearly showing me that it was His grace all along that made me able to be tolerant and patient! It wasn't me, it was Him. I also thought I had lost most of my arrogance and impatience.. no such thing. It is still there, just not as evident. My mother's surgery and subsequent illness has been Baba's way of giving me an opportunity to see myself more clearly. Maybe I was getting complacent, and with Baba that is a big no-no. I have had to evaluate my own 'growth' in all these years, and find myself really wanting. Oh well, I'll just have to try harder. Thank You Baba for this gift of time with my mum. I'll try and make the most of it. Jai Baba.