Saturday, March 8, 2014

News Flash! Care-Giving is Hard - Breakfast Menu!

I'm not much for breakfast except for several cups of coffee!  Growing up my dad believed in eggs (scrambled) and milk.  It's possible I was born hating both!  Caveat: I'm not the shiniest penny in the pocketbook apparently!  The number of mornings I sat (under duress) at the breakfast table long after everyone else was gone looking at cold scrambled eggs and warm milk. Both were much worse at those temperatures, but stubbornness won over smart! However, that's a tale for another day!  The point is I love bacon but not eggs!

There is a significant difference between the contribution of the pig and the chicken!  The hen is involved to lay an egg but continues to be capable of making that contribution to the menu day after day.  The pig is committed as the bacon comes at great cost to the pig!

In my family we are committed to taking care of my mother at home despite her increasing and pretty severe dementia!  She isn't easy to care for as she still knows enough to want to be in a different place in life!  I think that goes to the bone! 

I have four sibs.  One of them is a big pig in this process. Another is a smaller pig in the process. The other two are involved in the process, Then, there's me!  I care! I call! I pray! I send cards, but I am very far away!  Another sib is also pretty far away so we get to be "on-site" only occasionally. Both of us - actually all of us - have very busy other lives!

One sib has Mother in her home 24/7 almost (except for the weeks Mother goes to my brother's home for holidays, vacation times for my sister's family, and for a few miscellaneous reasons).  She has significant help in care-givers who come in every day. This sister has the best "set up" in her home to care for Mother. My sister has a self-contained apartment which was added to her home when she cared for her husband's parents until they went to heaven. But, it IS 24/7 being the pig on this breakfast menu. Then, there's me - almost not even a chicken in the process!

In many ways, care-giving for a disabled loved one is a pig job! It's very hard! There is a cost. It is a choice, but it's also being hands on 24/7!  Big time love fuels that commitment, but it doesn't mitigate the hard!

My brother too is amazing in that he takes almost every Tuesday to spend the day caring for Mother in my sister's home. He has a consulting business which requires his flying to Washington DC from Greenville SC for one client two days every week. He's definitely at least a little pig in this process!

It hurts my heart increasingly to be so far away!  I see the toll and the pain for the care-givers. I love Mother! I love them too!  It's not a "job" you don't take home! It's always there!

I know other care-givers who live the same committed life, and I marvel!  Here's to all the "pigs" who give care to a loved one with very special needs!  Here's to all the "hens", but the biggest shout-out goes to the "pigs"!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart especially to my sibs!