A Great Honor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Reviewing the role of caregiving to a family member and clients as the year concludes.

Submitted: October 24, 2018

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Submitted: October 24, 2018



As another year begins to wrap up, I pause to remember all the clients and their families I've had the honor to accompany for a time through a hospice experience, or home companion chapter of their lives.  My own mother's Alzheimer's years opened my heart and eyes to a sometimes hidden world, as the rest of us go about our daily activities out in our communities.

Once, I had one of those vivid moments when driving home after dealing with an Alzheimer's moment earlier in the day, as I witnessed the ordinariness of the afternoon along a neighborhood street.  I noted a couple walking along the sidewalk in so normal and carefree a fashion, I felt bereft of that quality; my mom's Alzheimer's behavior had seemed to steal the "everyday" from my life.  

That was around the time I wanted to change my name, run off to Paris, and disappear from my situation and responsibilities.  Since that time, I've read of other caregivers having such pipe dreams.

The cauldron of these sorts of shaping experiences imparts a gift, however.  It grows one, enlarging the capacity to be fully human, and there for someone else.  Later, I was able to take my own personal experience and support others moving through their own rigorous times.  Surely, I was less than perfect or helpful.  It is hard to know exactly what is needed by someone in the midst of upending events.  Still, I tried.

Eventually, you discern that just caring and being there makes a bit of difference.  Mostly, I'm ever more aware of what these clients and their families have given me—a chance to serve, help, and really participate in life with all its many colors, melodies, and emotions.

Blessings to all I've known, and the many going through their own deepening journeys as the year's end and holidays loom.

(Are you a caregiver, or a caregiver veteran?  What qualities of personal growth do you feel you acquired along the way?  Do you feel enriched by your experiences, however depleting?  If so, what would you pass on to someone new to this role?)

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