(This blog post is yet one more chapter from my book Dear Caregiver subtitled Reflections for Family Caregivers.)
As a caregiver, it was difficult to see the constant decline in my husband's health. It was difficult seeing the changes in him physically, but it was also difficult to see the changes in the person I had once known. In late 2008 I began journaling my feelings at a blog site online. In order to survive, I also realized I needed to begin to look for the wonders and blessings which were still around me.
On March 24, 2009 I wrote the following words:
“What will be my attitude today concerning my circumstances? It is raining and dreary out today. I enjoy the sunshine more. We, however, need the rain for the plants and grass to grow. So rain is good, and it is a blessing.
I also have grown spiritually and emotionally through the “rain” and “storms” of my fight against breast cancer last year and through my present care-giving experience with my husband. So that is good, and it is a blessing.
The last couple of days have been spent filling out paperwork and also spent on the phone asking questions about this paperwork. I hate filling out paperwork. Filling out paperwork for my husband’s disability and making necessary phone calls has helped us financially in the past, however. So that is good, and it is a blessing. One of the things I needed to do to fill out this paperwork was to get some additional information from our three sons. That has resulted in good and productive conversations. That is good, and that is a blessing. One of these calls to one of our sons resulted in my husband and I being able to hear our little 8 month old granddaughter who lives with her parents in London giggling in the background. What a joy! That is good, and that is a blessing. We just received a phone call and invite to have supper with family. That is pure joy. I see no negatives there.
Lord, help me not to get bogged down with the negatives of care-giving. Help me to consider it a privilege, and help me to look for the blessings. Help me to look for Your wonders in my life.”
Dear Christian caregiver, care-giving is probably one of the most difficult experiences you will ever undertake. Often that is the case with a calling as significant as care-giving. In the midst of the challenges, negative emotions, and disappointments, however, also look for the wonders, dear caregiver. There are wonders and blessings in even the most difficult of days. Looking for the wonders will allow the joy to remain in your life even in the struggles and heartaches of care-giving.