Every Caregiver Needs at Least One Loyal Friend

Caregivers Need a Loyal Friend

Every caregiver needs one loyal friend who has journeyed through a season of caregiving. I found mine when I took a writing class one summer and ended up sitting next to one of my husband’s former classmates from high school. We knew each other, but not well.
loyal

After a writing exercise one morning, the professor told us to exchange papers with the person sitting next to us. I had surreptitiously dabbed at tears whilst I wrote, and it frightened me to hand my words over to an almost stranger. As I read her words, I knew I had nothing to worry about.

We shared a story that gave us an instant connection: cancer caregiving. Her son was on the recovery end of a battle with childhood leukemia. My husband had lived three years longer than anyone expected him to after his diagnosis with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with central nervous system involvement.

Both of us had written about our struggles with recovering from the caregiving. Unless you’ve experienced the trauma of taking care of a loved one through a lift-threatening illness, the term ‘recovering caregiver’ won’t make a lot of sense.

Since that day, we have encouraged each other in our healing, written about our experiences, blogged about them and whined to each other via instant messaging about everything from our bad hair days to what-should-I-do-about-that-jerk-at-work.

Be a Loyal Friend

Carol has remained loyal through all of my ‘Oh-I-think-I-need-to-change-the-blog-look’ moments as well as my ‘It’s-October-and-don’t-you-want-to-do-a-write-31-days-series’ urgings.

She makes me think and gives me perspective and she gets me. We only see each other every couple of years (or more), but she’s loyal even when I frustrate her. I know I have a prayer partner and a disaster/writing/teaching/parenting buddy to talk to whenever I need a little mortal support.

Your loyal friends don’t have to live next door or even in the same town. But I’m convinced that we all need at least one. We have to cultivate the relationship (something I don’t do enough of) and keep things confidential. Having a friend who has traveled the same road you’re on sure makes life a lot easier!

So thank you, Carol, for being my loyal friend.  God has blessed me by putting you in my life!

What about you? Do you have a loyal friend who has journeyed the same road you’ve traveled? How do you support each other?

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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