Being a caregiver is not only tiring but at times it can seem like a never ending uphill battle. It can bring sparks of resentment, doubts and anger. It can also bring joy in the knowledge that after a loved one dies, there will be no guilt or regrets because of the sacrifices made to ensure they were lovingly taken care of.
Since my dad died I have become more engaged in helping and caring for my mom. My days can frequently be long, especially since I also have a full time job. I help out so often I consider myself the primary caregiver, despite having two siblings, who rarely lend a hand.
Regardless, I have been blessed with support from many people who have taken the time to ask about my mom, listen to me vent about my unsupportive family members, offer advice full of wisdom, pray and even enveloped me in a strong hug.
Every day I am in awe by the many who have entered my life acting like what I always believed a family should be. It has really made a huge impact knowing I finally have the support I have been longing for, for many years.
I have allowed myself to open up and share my story. As a result I have learned I am not alone. How reassuring it is to know those who were once strangers have grown into substitute siblings. It is because of these siblings I have come to the painful but inevitable conclusion it is way past time to let go of the hope filled notion that those related by blood are never going to be what I would like them to be.
There are days when I have nothing left to give. And even though they are far and few between, it would be nice if I could depend on my siblings. Instead, I am learning to keep on ticking like the Energizer Bunny, making sure I designate one day a week as mine to do whatever I want. Even if that means I spend a large portion of it lounging in bed.
Being a caregiver is not what I figured I would be. Especially since I was looking forward to finally being an empty nester and having time to do things I wanted. I will say, despite this, I have wholeheartedly embraced the journey of giving care. It does have rewards and has opened my eyes to what my life will eventually become.
So I’d like to thank my circle of friends for giving me support in my time of need, for being there with a shoulder and for being the family I always hoped for. Thank you as well to my dad who recognized the sacrifices I was making to ensure he received loving care and timely help. And to my mom too. She knows I have her best interests at heart and will honor her wishes till the end of her days.