Being able to give love, nurturing and care when someone truly needs it is in many ways a gift. Not just to the one in need, but to the one giving. It is like many gifts, not an easy one. To know in your heart that what you are doing is truly needed, and to meet that need without making the person cared for feel belittled or a burden ... it makes us stronger, wiser and kinder. I know that surviving this, and making each day more than just getting by, is my chance to give something of value back to the ones I love. In doing so I prove to myself that I am a person who can give selfless love, that there are depths to my strength I was previously unaware of. I feel honored to be the one to care for my mom in her time of need, and my sister who was my "little mother" when I was a child.
As difficult as it is, and as much as I give up to do this, I never doubt that what I am doing is the right thing. Perhaps it is some left over Catholic guilt thing, but I also feel this is my chance to right any wrongs I may have done in the past, especially those based in selfishness.
When I can make them happy, make them smile and be glad to be alive ... I feel more than just relief -- I am proud that I am able to give joy to them in spite of what is happening to them. When I can make them feel safe and secure, even if I am quaking with fear myself, I feel blessed.
I do not mean that I never have a resentful moment .... because I do. But overall, I know I am getting more than I am giving. In caring for them, they have given me the chance to be a better person than I ever would have been on my own.
Do emotions enter into the picture when you are caring for someone?
When I was caring for my husband I couldn't believe how my emotions would bounce from happiness and peace one moment to anger about his pain in another. Yet another moment and I would be selfishly crying for me - poor me - what was going to happen to me now?
I also firmly believe that everything that happens in our lives, happens for a reason. My crystal ball is out of commission, so I can't see into the future to know what I havegained from this horrible experience. I am sure that some day I will look back and see clearly, but I'm not there yet.
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