It's funny. Sometimes it seems as if all there is, is caregiving.
Caregiving and worrying. Worrying about Dad's medications and his
reactions to them. Worrying about the finances and making every dollar
stretch. Worrying about his happiness and making sure that we are doing
everything possible to maintain his quality of life. .
And sometimes the other life around me, the life that has little to do
with care giving, breaks through. That other life tears those rain clouds
like a ray of sunshine with such clarity and hope, that it is impossible
to ignore. And I am blessed for these moments.
Recently, I've been blessed with such a series of these events, that it
just makes me pause and smile for a while.
One such ray of sunshine was the evidence of love and family my children
display. I can look at each of them with pride, knowing they are all fine
people. I'm proud to know them as individuals and as my children. I can't
even express the pride I felt the evening of April 8th. The whole family
spent the day hosting and staffing the Sharing Wisdom Conference. I looked
at each of their exhausted faces at the end of the day, thinking to
myself, "these are my children!"
I can see the love of my sons for their nieces, and all those silly clichés
about the advantages and joys of being a grandparent shoot bright and
colorfully in my mind. I can't help but laugh for the joy of it.
And my granddaughters! The eldest, Alexandrea, had her Bat-Mitzvah this
month. You will never see a grandparent so proud or happy, (until Taryn
becomes a Bat-Mitzvah) as I was, as I am. And just when I thought, even
with Dad's illness, life is really worth living, and I am blessed, Mr.
Harvey Burke proposed marriage in middle of the dance floor at Tayrn's
reception, making life even better.
So here I am, as the song says, "walking on sunshine". Yes, I
was a caregiver for my late husband. And at the time of his death, I could
not see past the dark rain around me. And yes, I immediately became
caregiver to my parents, and now, to just my father. But in the process, I
watched the creative genius of my son, Gary, create this magazine to help
me, to help all caregivers. I watched my daughter raise another generation
of wonderful people. I watch my youngest son find success as a prominent
businessman in his field. I found the gift of a second love, an offer to
begin a new life with a wonderful man, while not having to regret or
abandon my previous life.
Care giving is an act of love, but it can be filled with the frustration,
pain, exhaustion. It is also part of life. And life is filled with joys,
wonderment and new exciting journeys as well as the frustration, pain and
exhaustion. Sometimes it's a matter of making ourselves look around for
the sunshine. Sometimes it a matter of permitting ourselves to walk out
into the sunshine when we find it. I highly recommend taking that walk
whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Health and happiness to all of you.
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