Caregiving is a Beautiful Story.
For as far as I can remember, I have been “caring” since I was a little girl…in the sixth grade to be exact. After my grandfather passed away from pancreatic cancer, I watched my aunt care for her mother (my grandmother) until she passed away when I was a junior in high school.
I knew I had a calling for caregiving growing up, but what I didn’t know was that caregiving was ever-evolving. I decided to take classes at a Nursing Assistant School while waiting to be accepted into Nursing School. It was a struggle though since I was not a fan of studying. However, I did enjoy the hands-on curriculum…learning to do bed-baths, changing an adult brief on an incontinent patient, and measuring blood pressure.
Nursing School was a totally different beast in itself. Again, studying was a struggle but seeing the joy on my patients’ faces during my clinical was so rewarding.
Years passed, and my caregiving journey was not a straight clear path. I felt discouraged many times deciding whether I even wanted to go into this field, but seeing those smiles always kept me strong in moving forward.
Fast forward to my late twenties and early thirties, and my parents were aging. My mother was diagnosed with dementia at an early age, and my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. Here I was being a caregiver for a career, and on top of that…being a family caregiver for my parents. I was stressed and burnt out from caring for my parents…all I wanted to do was overwork myself more. But during my father’s recovery, I had to set boundaries for myself…to myself. One thing that helped me was telling my story to others. It’s beautiful when others see you…especially when they too are experiencing the same thing. So…you are not alone. You have a community of caregivers.
To you, beloved caregiver, with experience or no experience at all, you are enough. Make sure you give yourself grace during times when your aging parent is running you thin. YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.
Just by having the heart to care for another life speaks volumes. YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.