Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blessed are the caregivers

I seriously don't know how they do it.

I had an extended visit home for the holidays so I could spend a little more time with Dad. Things continue to deteriorate. He's set up on the first floor now so he doesn't have to deal with stairs, and he needs a LOT of help walking.

I pitched in during the weekend when his regular caregiver (the paid one, as opposed to his wife, who's there 24/7) wasn't there, and it was tough, tough, tough. I don't even want to go into it.

But I was trying to take a zen-like approach to the whole thing. Reducing expectations, being prepared for anything, and letting go of the past and how things were or should be.

As always, he continues to smile and be good natured, which is a huge blessing, if you believe in that sort of thing. And there continues to be a glimmer of recognition there in his eyes, though he can't really speak.

And I continue, for whatever reason, to be fairly emotionally detached from the whole thing. I think I'm a good compartmentalizer. I think that's maybe frustrating or curious for other people, but it seems to work for me.

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