Family – it’s not just fun at the holidays. Family is a bond. Family is a blood line. Family can be both gift and thorny bush. This is for anyone who is a Caregiver – whether it’s for a spouse, a friend, an elder or a child. If your life is more about caring for someone who can’t fully care for themselves, I salute you. It’s the hardest job in the world!
As my parents became more dependent on my care, one of their dear friends said to me: “Some men just can’t deal with it.” She could easily have said “some PEOPLE just can’t deal with it.” What I came to know was that many thought they helped. They thought that giving me advice was helping me. They thought that telling me what I was doing wrong was helpful, perhaps. And occasionally, an absent family member mumbled a thank you.
Mainly, they could not conceive of the time and energy drain. Too many people were all about throwing off advice but never actively getting emotionally involved. To be a Caregiver, one can not escape being emotionally engaged. It’s how we do it. With our hearts. It was the great divide of our times. This is where heart overrides logic every time.
Those of us who do have the Courage To Care — that deep well of compassion that calls us to help, to lend a hand, to give a ride, to lovingly look about to see what we can do to make someones life easier — for us — its beyond Courage. It’s a calling. It’s our gift. It’s our purpose, perhaps.
I dedicate my words to those who have the Courage to Care. I dedicate my words to my Mother, who was the ultimate caregiver. No one asked, but I always knew when a friend was in need. Mom’s famous egg custard was about to be made and delivered with the love of my Mom.
Caregivers — We have what many others don’t have. We must unite to support one another. It’s not just about the aging. It’s about all people who love others enough to help when they need it.
Watch for my book. The Courage To Care will be out soon.
I dedicate my health coaching to caregivers — if we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be available to care for our loved ones. It’s that simple and so darned hard. I sit and write this as words are pouring forth only to ignore my daily workout. That’s how it goes.