HomecaregivingAre You a Crispy Critter?


Are You a Crispy Critter? — 4 Comments

  1. Sue, this was the best description of care giving and it’s ramifications that I have seen! My experiences were relatively short and intense, where yours have been extensive.

    I often think that God gives us what we can handle; my career as an ICU nurse provided me the ability to think fast on my feet, charge in with guns blazing, and live one day at a time. Not that this isn’t fraught with stress, but one can take “mini-breaks” to soothe oneself. For example, during the days Bob was hospitalized with infection, I treated myself with an amazing oatmeal cookie baked in the St. Joe’s coffee shop, then got to bed early to make up for sleep lost during nights Bob was home. This, plus the fact that our kids and my California-based sister rallied round to help supported Bob and me so very much.

    My Dad’s death was our first big loss; it, too, was short but intense. His coronary artery disease had progressed to the point of emergent bypass surgery. Our hopes were high as we gathered around him that morning after Christmas when we joked about him returning to the golf course so he could prepare for his third hole-in-one! Sadly, Dad suffered a peri-operative MI and did not survive. I was the one my family turned to during this dark day; luckily I could prepare myself by reading the signs portrayed by the nurses and surgeons as they updated us during the operation; when Dr. Parker finally walked down the long hall toward us at the end, his hunched shoulders and downcast expression said it all. I was so busy comforting my family it delayed my expression of grief.

    Following Dad’s death we helped Mom sell her house and moved her out by me and Bob in Liverpool. She was proud of her tiny apartment whose kitchen window overlooked Onondaga Lake, but she spent most of her day at our house, which at that time housed all five of us, including three kids from 11 down to 1 years old. The ten years until Mom joined Dad in Heaven were a whirlwind, as the kids became teens, Bob and I changed jobs, and eventually we lost Mom to a month-long battle with pneumonia.

    Thank you for allowing me to roll back the years! This past Saturday, when Rich, Jenn, Kelly and I, in addition to their spouses and kids, spent a three-hour ZOOM session reminiscing over these years. This was my effort to fill in the gaps so they could carry on the family stories, but I found they enlightened me as well. Rich reminded me that he and Grampa used to go play miniature golf on Sundays after church, while Nana, the girls and I did our girly trips.

    Going forward we also started to plan our first big get-together as we restart our connections following quarantine. I was touched that their concerns were centered on my safety, as we planned to go boating with Jenn, Kevin and the girls on “The River”. I trust that all the kids have maintained mask use with social distancing and sanitizing, and I certainly have; we will continue to use these precautions carefully. Looking forward to it so much!

    • Thank you for sharing your journeys, Cathy.You will never know how much your strength brought your family through those painful days. I give thanks that, through Christ, those “deaths” were merely transitionsfrom temporal bodies to eternal ones. Caregivers like you are angel guides.

  2. I love this blog there is so much truth here and hopefully people heed your advice to get support for themselves.I have known several of my friends try to do this on their own and you could see a change in their personalitys.It is a difficult situation as everyone in the family is scattered and the only one near Mom and Dad is you.Thank you for reaching out to al care givers.

    • Thank you, Lenette. Your experiences with your friends just verifies the truth that there is no one who can pull off caregiving alone (and keep their sanity or joy). People need to turn to their friends in times such as this. As you know, dear friend.

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