Friday, January 7, 2011

"Caregiver"

So I have been thinking recently about the word "caregiver."  Caregiver makes me think of nursing home workers, aides, nurses, dr's, etc.   These are professional people who get paid to do this job.  What about family members who do it?  We don't get paid.  We do it because we love them. Over the years I've thought a lot about the cycle of life, how we raise our babies up to be adults. We feed them and clothe them and do for them what they can't do for themselves.  Then they go out into the world and do that too.  What is the opposite of raise in terms of what I have done for Gramma and what I'm doing now for Bompa?  It's like you get to a point in life where, although your age keeps going forward, what you can do goes backwards.  With our kids we are "parent" but what am I to Bompa.  Caregiver just seems so generalized, so minimal.  It's more like backwards parenting.  It should have it's own word.  A better word.  A word that describes the love, respect, hard work, weary mind and sad heart that go along with what we do all day for our loved ones.  A word that describes the strength it takes to watch the person who helped raise you and teach you about the world slowly forget all those things.  A word that describes the courage it takes to accept the huge responsibility of their care.  Someone I met online, who cares for Alzheimer's patients, uses the words "earth angel" .   I kinda like that one!  A long time ago, I picked a song that reminded me of my Gramma.  It was our favorite song.  It's "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler.  I played it for her at my wedding, and I had it sung in church at her funeral.  It's funny how it seems to fit perfectly with being an earth angel.  My whole life, Gramma was getting me ready for these challenges just like her Gramma did for her.  Destiny?  Divine Plan?   Coincidence???  I don't know!  Just something I think about once in a while... 

1 comment:

  1. I can relate on so many levels! My mother with Alzheimer's has lived in my house for four years. I try to find the humor in it; it's what keeps me sane. Come on over to "my place" and read about some of the adventures!

    Melissa

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