Originally posted to Multiply November 14 2010
There are saints among us.
I am not talking about people who perform public feats of do-gooding on a large scale. I am talking about the ordinary folks who look after a disabled loved one in the isolation of their home, 24/7, year after year. I know several such people.
This weekend I stepped in the shoes of one, as a paid gig, providing respite care for 2 days. Details shall remain blank for reasons of confidentiality.
Let me just say that the stint gave me a fresh appreciation of what it must be like to live like that, every moment at the total service of someone else's needs. I could not do it.
For hire, safe in the knowledge that the time there was limited, I could turn on the required amount of calm, patience and kindness. Old Home Support training kicked back in. It went well.
But as soon as the door of the home closed behind me I felt practically giddy with freedom, almost laughing out loud with relief, and once home headed straight for the wine bottle.
How do caregivers keep going year in and year out, often without meaningful breaks?
I can only deduce they are saints.
P.S. How I LOVE my own life! I am euphoric, just enjoying being home.