There are so many aspects of caregiving to discuss, and most of what is considered the elephant in the caregiving room is negative. However, there are the good aspects of caregiving that are often overshadowed by the negatives, and never mentioned or forgotten. Everyone’s experience as a caregiver is different, but this post is going to cover the beauty in caring for others.
My parents are often mentioned because I see the caregiving they do, and I speak with them about their lives, their sacrifices, and the blessings they have. Despite the tremendous amount of work they do, they remain positive about their lives and the future. There are moments where they may struggle and question the direction their lives have taken. There are days where they just wish for a break because they are exhausted. But, they have also expressed a profound feeling of gratitude for their lives. They feel better knowing their loved ones are receiving proper care. They know that as long as they are caring for them, they will be loved and provided for. They want to make sure there is a positive, nurturing, family connection because they do not look upon them as a burden, but as humans. This is where the beauty and blessings of caregiving lives, in the hearts of the carers who give because they truly care.
Another story of caregiving that has been a blessing, is the care my husband and I shared after each of our daughter’s open-heart surgeries. After her first surgery, she had her vocal cords nicked and we couldn’t hear her cry. My husband had to work full-time, and when he came home, we slept in shifts so one of us would always be awake with her. We kept logs of medication dosages, and feedings. She had to be on oxygen, but we could not allow her oxygen saturation to go above 65-70% because it could cause severe problems. We were exhausted, but we also had so much time to spend with her, getting to know her. My husband took a strong, active role in her care, and I saw their bond grow. It was the countless hours of care that helped us to develop an even stronger connection. I am so grateful for those moments.
Caregiving is often thankless, but we can find meaning and gratitude in the connections that are made. The truth is that caregiving is an act of human kindness and love. It is a sacrifice, but it is rewarded in smiles, in the time spent with a loved one, and in the human connection that is often forgotten in our fast-paced world. Caregiving speeds us up with lots of work to do, but it also slows us down when we realize the mortality that faces us all. It is a blessing in disguise.