November is National Family Caregiver month.
I was going to fill this post with facts and figures. I was going to talk numbers and percentages, give you stats that, you would more than likely skim over. I was going to share how COVID has changed the face of caregiving. How caregivers are now more isolated than ever, how they are sacrificing everything in hopes of keeping their loved ones lives alive.
And then I realized before I did that I need to share from the heart.
Caregiving is hard. It’s heart breaking and soul crushing, but it’s also fulfilling and full of love and the most honest form of loving someone. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. And granted, it didn’t feel like that for the years I was doing it, I can now look back and realize helping someone live a good life is what our lives are truly about.
My needs no longer mattered. Everything I did was for someone else. I spent years devoted to someone else that I knew would not live, someone I knew I would not grow old with. I gave up my life to make sure that someone else lived theirs to the fullest, knowing it would be a short life, but hoping it would be full of love and adventure. I was someone else’s hands, legs and voice. Someone counted on me to be fed, bathed and toileted.
I cried and cried and cried. I fought and fought and fought. I lost sleep, friends, family, myself … I gained wrinkles, stress, patience but most importantly the true meaning of life and love.
I plan on sharing more about the struggles of caregivers over the next few weeks in hopes of bringing to light what these amazing individuals are doing everyday in plain sight.
I spent the day in primary care, dealing with angry and impatient people, coordinating COVID tests and yearly physicals. Being coughed on and talked down to. I’m tired and my vision is skewed right now, so I’m going to call it a night and fondly remember the love that caregivers have and show everyday.
– xoxo Victoria