In March of 2018, I began this blog with this goal in mind – “to support and encourage those who care for someone with Parkinson’s Disease.” And when you read the first post, “Similar, yet Different,” you will see that my focus was just that.
But as all things do, this blog has evolved. What most of us have in common is the caregiving piece of this blog. While the conditions of our loved ones may be very different, the similarities in the caregiving part are really what bring us together. They give us a shared mission; they bring us shared emotional experiences; they bind us together with shared joys.
No matter the disease, condition or ailments, our mission as caregivers is to take CARE of our loved one. They need physical care – sometimes only a little, and sometimes they are totally dependent on us for their needs. They need emotional care when they become discouraged due to their limitations or pain. They need us to care for them, no matter their symptoms.
And in this caring, there are many ups and downs emotionally. Some moments are just difficult as we watch our loved one’s disease progress. We watch them age and grow weaker. Some moments are joyful when they join us in appreciating the beautiful world around us. Some moments are filled with panic when we just don’t know how to help them or what to do. Caregiving can be an emotional roller coaster.
But we live for the moments of joy: seeing our loved one smile, hearing them recount experiences from the past, watching them respond to family and friends, hearing them tell a favorite joke. Those moments may be brief, so we hold them sacred in our hearts and bring them to mind when the times are difficult. Another is the joy of knowing we are doing our best, that we are doing the right thing, that we are doing God’s work here on earth by caring for our loved one. Let’s not forget that, especially when the moments are difficult or uncomfortable.
Your experience right now may be totally different from mine, but if you are caring for someone, we have so much in common. We understand each other. We can laugh through the difficult times because we know countless others are experiencing difficult times as well. And let’s celebrate the wonderful times and encourage each other with them.