You Do It Because It’s Your Turn

National Family Caregivers Month What's YOUR story? http://wp.me/p2UZoK-xp via @blestbutstrestNovember is National Family Caregiver Awareness Month. I’m sure most people are not aware of this little fact; I wasn’t.

Through the years I’ve known some amazing people who cared for catastrophically ill people. A mother who cared for her very young son (my friend) who had a brain tumor, until it took him away from her. A neighbor who cared for his wife long after a severe stroke removed all resemblance to the woman he married. My mother who cared for her mother past the age of 100 and held her for her final breath. A friend who patiently and persistently taught her son to crawl and walk again after a traumatic brain injury.

It’s what you do, right? If a family member needs you, well then, you care for them.

You wouldn’t trade it, you wouldn’t hand it to someone else and you learn to cherish the moments you have with the patient. But caregiving takes a toll. It changes who you are; sometimes physically and sometimes mentally and oftentimes both!

But you do it anyway. Because it’s family. Because you love. Because it’s your turn. (tweet this)

One of the biggest struggles many caregivers face is feeling all alone. Alone in the new way of balancing life, dealing with changes in relationships, learning to function on less sleep and crazy schedules and dealing with all the insurance and paperwork issues.

Family caregivers – you are not alone. You are not crazy, you’re not unappreciated and people would love to hear your story and share your journey!

This month, on our blog, we’re inviting family caregivers to share their journeys. Because they care, love and well, it’s their turn!

Come share your story. Come read amazing stories of true every day heroes.

 

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Being a caregiver really is soul work because it takes a toll and sometimes the only source of solace is God. My mom died 4 years ago from Ovarian Cancer and my sister and I were her primary caregivers during her final months until the moment she died. It wasn’t easy. Taking care of her, knowing that each day was a little a goodbye but not being able to deal with the grief because at the end of the day…you are not the one who is dying. It wasnt easy. And I have so much love and respect for you and this endeavor.

    I was going to call it a night but decided to read one more FMF post before bed and this was it and now my heart is full. Thank you.
    vernette recently posted…Five Minute Friday: TurnMy Profile

    • Vernette I’m so glad you dropped by. I am sorry for your loss. I imagine you experienced quite a mix of feelings over that time of caring for your mom. So glad you read one more! 🙂
      Carol recently posted…An Unexpected Turn in ConversationMy Profile

  • I was a caregiver for someone I loathed. But I did it anyway because it was the right thing to do, and I’d do it again.

    The essence of our humanity is not to abandon people, however vile they may be. Americans tend to injured Taliban,not because we “see their point”, but because not to help a fallen enemy (if possible) is unthinkable.

    Some people, and some societies, forget this. They hold to what they think are Big Boys’ rules, in which those who fall are left to bleed out, and the heads of the vanquished are pressed into the mud until the screaming stops.

    And one day, they are vanquished. God grant that in their last look up they see an outstretched hand and an American flag on the sleeve.

    We are caregivers because mercy is honor, and honor is the only thing worth living for.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Where Shalt Thou Turn? – Five Minute FridayMy Profile

    • Andrew you gave me a whole new angle to think about. I cannot imagine, in all honesty, what it would be like to go through the caregiving journey with all it’s stresses and blessings while tending someone you loathed. But it is those moments who determine who you are and I’m glad you were so strong. Thank you for stopping by!
      Carol recently posted…An Unexpected Turn in ConversationMy Profile

  • Caregiving is hard and it DOES take it’s toll. But I wouldn’t trade one moment of the time I gave care to Richard for anything else in the world.
    paula recently posted…WORKMy Profile

  • Not sure I’ve ever done this. Briefly when my husband broke his neck, but never intensely is a dire situation. I have such high respect for those who do, who can.
    Susan Shipe recently posted…five minute friday – turnMy Profile

  • I am currently being the one who is being cared for by my sweet husband and I can attest to how difficult it is for him. I pray that he is never in as dire straights as I have been, but I know that if it is ever my turn, I will gladly assume the role of caregiver for him. Stopping by from FMF! Have a happy Friday!
    The Momma recently posted…Five Minute Friday: TurnMy Profile

  • Barbara Gibson

    I have been a caregiver for many years. It started for my own adopted mother who had Fragile”X” a mental retardation. I knew at an early age that my momma was different , and really do not know how she was allowed to adopt. there were teen age years i resented her, and childhood years that I was scared, as sometimes she did not respond to my needs appropriately. I had extended family I could turn to. Later I was the sole caregiver for a mother of 8, my own mother-in law, who ironically worked in Oncology.
    Daily i was there to transport and do all forms of daily living hands on care, and it became my life.
    For a time i worked in Facilities, but the personal care in ones home made it feel “real”.
    Do I ever complain, oh yah…nothing special about days of agony when there is not a glimmer of hope, or there is nothing you can do.
    My biggest challenge I face is when a job is over, the family is left to rejoice, or grieve and I am left to move on.
    I am right now in that position. i know God has someone else to need me and they are out their waiting, in the mean time I hold my breath, pray and angst.
    It IS who I am, it IS what i do. My own children do not even understand it, and honestly I am not sure I do myself… but I am here waiting for the next friend in need.

  • I wasn’t aware it was National Family Caregiver Awareness Month. I took care of my mother before her passing, and it was a difficult, yet blessed time in my life and my relationship with her. Not many understand the experience until you go through it. Thank you for your post and how you encourage others in Caregiving. Such a blessing, and much needed!
    Julie Lefebure recently posted…Five Minute Friday – TurnMy Profile