I brought my husband home from the hospital last night. This morning I spent a great deal of time and energy rearranging the house. Furniture had to be moved to make space for his walker. Rugs had to be taken up and stored to eliminate tripping hazards. All of the time I was rearranging the space in which we live, I was thinking how incredibly lucky we are. The excruciating pain in Alex’s legs is gone. The pain from the incision in his back will go away. He will recover. In a few months he’ll be walking unassisted, and by next spring he could feel better than he’s felt in years.
I know many of you who follow this blog are caring for loved ones who will not get better. You may have started with rearranging your house only to realize one day that you had rearranged your entire life. For the last few days I’ve been trying to think about what I could write that would ease your fears, comfort your soul, and provide you with some peace.
If the journey ahead of you looks long and scary, take a few minutes to think about the value of gift you are giving. Caregiving is physically demanding and emotionally draining. Each day as you rearrange your plans to accommodate the needs of your care receiver, I hope you will remember that you are performing one of most generous act of love that anyone can ever do on behalf of another. No matter what else you accomplish in your life, this could be the most important and valuable work you will ever do.