Autopilot – the mode of operation for long-term caregivers

In times of trial, when it feels like we’re flying alone – God provides better than “autopilot” and becomes the pilot of our journey

Autopilot becomes the way we handle things flung at us as new caregivers.  Actually, who am I kidding?  It didn’t get easier just because it became longer – in fact, the longer I lived on emergency-ready, life-and-death mode, the grayer my world became.  My son was four-years-0ld when we started his cancer journey, and I was 39.  When we finished chemotherapy, he was 7 1/2  and I was 93.  My always-learning brain had turned to mush (Anita calls it chemo brain by proxy) and I literally saw through a gray haze. I functioned on autopilot – but it worked, because of Who my pilot is:  this is a poem I wrote shortly after finishing chemo and realizing I was in deep-struggle-mode.

I’m on autopilot

Feet float

From place to place

Unaware of where they’re going

Lost from where they’ve been


Eyes drift

Across words on a page

Reading and rereading a passage

Unable to soak it in


Ears buzz

Around conversations flying by

Desperately trying to pick out information

Confused by threads of thought


Mouth stumbles

Over pieces of a conversation

Tripping over thoughts refusing to be expressed

Incapable of coherence


Hands flutter

From task to task

Forgetting how to accomplish anything outside of an emergency

Helpless to proceed


I’m on autopilot again Lord,







The only way I can do anything at all

Is to have You

Be my pilot

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Put God in the pilot seat!

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