It’s 9:45 pm. I’ve been sitting in the hospital with my Mother since noon. For the past week, my time has been split between two hospitals attending to both my Mother and Grandmother. More than enough time to reflect on what it means to be a caregiver.
Caring for another person, especially long-term, is an act of pure love and self-sacrifice. The really good ones have an inherent compassion that shines through in all they do.
My sister is good caregiver. I watch in awe as she snaps into action…anticipating and fulfilling my Mother’s every need. She seamlessly builds a rapport with everyone that enters the room. Her smile and quick wit helps to soften the seriousness of the environment.
As I watch her, my mind drifts back to my cancer treatments. My husband is also a good caregiver. He was a chauffeur for every surgery, doctor appointment, chemo infusion and radiation session. He was a homemaker who did the grocery shopping, prepared meals, and helped clean the house. He was the nurse who helped me bathe, dress, understand the doctors, and keep track of the ever-changing medications. He was the provider who spent his weekends working after taking care of me all week. All of this (and more) while never complaining or making me feel guilty that he had to absorb so many of the responsibilities for maintaining of our home. At the time, I realized James was an amazing man. I now have a better understanding for what he endured and a more profound appreciation for the care I received.
by Dory B. Sweet
I can’t even imagine how you feel…
…what you’re going through
…the pain you’re in.
I can’t even imagine being confined…
…in a hospital
…in a nursing home
…not in your bed.
I can’t even imagine trying to walk…
…with all the staples and stitches
…with the tubes, IVs, and bandages
I can’t even imagine trying to sleep…
…so many bells and buzzers
…everyone checking in on you
…voices all around.
What I can imagine is how my heart breaks…
…seeing you like this
…being helpless to make go away
…holding back the tears
…trying to be strong.
What I know is that none
…of the words I say
…or the things I do
…will make your pain go away.
What I firmly believe is…
…God is in control
…there must be a reason
…He will never give us more that we can handle.
What I promise is…
…I am doing the best I can
…I will love you unconditionally
…I will pray unceasingly.