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The HollyRod Interview (Page 3 of 3)
An Interview with Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete
Holly Robinson Peete: Yes,
they do not. Only our oldest kids
got a real chance to be with my father
and to know him a little bit, but he was
pretty steeped into the dementia phase
of Parkinson's by the time they were
born. They would ask about why
Granddad never smiles, and I had to
explain to them Granddad is smiling on
the inside a lot, but he has this mask
that comes with Parkinson's disease that
makes it look like he has no expression.
It scared the kids sometimes, so we
really had to stay on them to know that
Granddad is smiling on the inside.
Just because he is not smiling does not
mean that you cannot smile at him.
What would be the one
most important piece of advice you would
like to leave a family caregiver with?
Peete: A family caregiver
experiences a certain level of guilt, a
certain level of selflessness, and I
would just say you have to take care of
yourself. You cannot feel bad
about giving yourself some time.
You have got to have some time to
nurture your own soul, because if you do
not, you cannot be the best caregiver.
Not taking care of yourself is the worst
thing that you can do. So in some
way, some form you have to give yourself
a break and nurture yourself so that you
can nurture your loved one as well.
Rodney Peete: That
is it, because you get so consumed.
I know that because not only have we
been going through it, but I look at my
parents who have done that for my
grandmother and my grandfather and some
other people in our lives. They spend
all their time looking after some of the
older generation and do not really take
time for themselves, which makes them
worn out. So you have to take time
for yourself, and really take care of
yourself health-wise, and give yourself
some time and give yourself a break.
I think the other thing I would say is
no matter if you never hear it or you do
not see it or you do not think it is
there, you are appreciated and the
people that you are caring for really
appreciate you. I do not think
that you should ever underestimate that
or think that it is not true; because
even if they do not say it, like I said,
you are appreciated.