I love diving in to help people. I am so grateful to be involved in work that exposes powerful life lessons and reminders to me on a daily basis.
I had one of those “tale of two days” today. It has forced me to take pause and reflect upon the perspective I feel honored to have earned.
AM: Facing the Mountain.
My morning was spent diving into help a family in a major crisis. The freshness and painful elements they are facing are still echoing painfully in my mind hours later.
I held and comforted an exhausted senior who is doing everything I have ever seen a family caregiver challenged to do. This thankless job pays nothing. There are no vacations. Most days there aren’t even breaks. There are no sick days.
This family caregiver is not in physical or mental condition to do what she has been doing for the last 20 years. She motors on. In her steadfast iron clad will, she musters up all her power to help her family member. She does all of this while facing with her own cognitive developmental disorder. She has also had multiple physical setbacks. Several surgeries on failing joints.
We sat together in the hospital with a team of 7 care providers. A Chaplain, RN, OT, PT, Dietician, Speech therapist. The entire discharge planning team. The hard news of her loved ones fate playing out in the reports one after another from all the represented disciplines.
In learning of her loved one’s fate, this capable woman was overcome. She shook with tears that also moved me tremendously.
While I am moved emotionally, I am moved inwardly also. I feel moved to think. To begin to ambulate practical solutions. To-do lists are generated, potential outcomes beginning to marinate to a rapid boil making way for actions.
Determinations are shared with remaining family members in images and text messages and emails. The news is bleak, yet I feel so lucky to be able to help this great family. We have a plan. She will make it home.
My afternoon enabled me to visit with a dear friend who I cherish. My friend called upon Always There Home Care services for both Mom & Dad. As we sat and spoke, years removed from the loss of his wonderful Mother & Father, I came to be so grateful that we forget.
I am so thankful we forget. Those eyes once red with the freshness of loss that now sparkle in loving remembrance.
Those uniquely challenging obstacles that seemed insurmountable are now mountains that we have climbed only to now stand atop them and appreciate the view. The view is made more glorious thanks to the hard earned perspective these heights brought us to appreciate.
In my youth leadership days I was a leader on a 10 day backpacking trip in the Adirondack Mountains. We took freshly graduated seniors and threw 70lb. packs on their backs and climbed the Adirondack mountain range for 10 days.
I remember being pushed to absolute limits of exhaustion, anger, frustration and irritation. But above all of those I remember reaching the top of Whiteface Mountain. This 4,865′ tall peak is breathtaking. Conquering this obstacle is a harrowing proposition as you observe it from the ground.
When our group of climbers reached the top there were 50 or so sightseeing tourists who had made the long winding drive by car to the top of Whiteface in their camper vans SUV’s and minivans.
Our committed group of rookie mountain climbers experienced a spontaneous eruption of applause. Strangers offering snacks and water and shaking our hands and snapping pictures. A memory as sweet as this one enables me to forget the pains from my banged up body. The scratches, bumps and bruises, the heavy pack.
When we lose someone? I am glad that we forget the pain we experienced in taking on the challenge it was to honor them with our labors. I’m so happy to remember how much we forget. This leaves us with a perspective only gained by climbing hand over foot for our loved ones each day.
Ben Smith is Founder President and Chief Caregiver in Charge at Always There Home Care. His companies mission is it’s motto: “Your Home. Your Rules. Our Care.” We exist to serve the family caregivers who are looking up at that mountain. And we haven’t forgotten what it feels like to be overwhelmed. Great care starts with a great conversation. Let’s have one today. Call our 24-Hour Home Care Hotline and we will get started. (614) HOME-CARE 614-466-3227.
I spent my morning having inherited a new family crisis. There are times when the thickness and freshness of disorder can bring you to your knees.
While we do not make habit of grabbing the steering wheel of our patients legal affairs, I felt today that I had no choice.