Friday, March 6, 2009

To be a caregiver

What does it mean was asked. I sat and thought but was unable to come up with a satisfactory answer really. I knew the question was in earnest need and was just a cry for someone to say your doing it right. That's all most of us want to hear. Your doing it right. However, I have no voice at times and this was one of those times. All I could do was listen as others answered with what they thought should be of help. A lot of lists. A lot of feelings and how too, when too and what not to. List. Just be yourself was a thoughtful reply from one who did know and that I respect.

Inside, I could only bring myself to give a hug, a handshake and a knowing look into their eyes and convey that it was all that; sometimes more; often less. You just have to be in the moment. Sometimes you can get away with not really thinking about it, just do what needs to be done.

Some of MY reality is having to clean, bathe, dress, rub the back of, comb the hair of, wash cloths, feed, hold, give pills too, say I love you, a thousand other things during the day, put to bed and loose sleep while listening for trouble.

See – a list. Not the answer I learned this morning.

I had been looking forward to this morning for a long time. I was going to go to a movie with some friends. I was very excited and even got up extra early this morning to make sure all of that list that needed to be done, in fact was done.

Then, I went in to wake my mother. She had had another mini-stroke this morning. This morning of all mornings. Into that list I went. I refuse to white-wash it, I felt myself becoming angry. This morning, why today. Damn it, what about me, my plans. my life? Then on and on into the list, after a while the anger was forgotten.

And in her bed she sleeps as I write this.

What does it mean to be a caregiver? I don't know – maybe it's missing a movie. I just hope I am doing it right.

All I can do is smile now; I'll cry later!


3-6-2009 12;34;29 PM

sketch by my daughter, dated 1996.

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