CAre Giving Across the Ages

Ever wondered if we had crystal balls
that we’d seen the day coming
when Care Giving was the way it is these days?
Sons taking care of Mothers,
Mothers taking care of their children,
Grandparents raising
their Grandchildren, their nieces and nephews and generations down the road,
some once again living under the same roofs?
Elders and those
Grandparents who are so very young that they are mistaken as the parents of youngsters; or the sisters of their own grown children?
Life seems to be more complicated these days,
but is it really?
The needs of others being ignored by some and attended to by others,
some abandoning or abusing their young,
some being accused unfairly
others are not being served justice
when their deeds go unpunished
and the innocent are left to suffer
yet others pay high prices.
Still others will give
and not freely and then
feel the need to throw the gift in faces
or not give
when needed
and those
who have no need to throw it up or throw it around will do so to others or in community.
Some love to talk, and talk gets around like a wild fire out of control.
We sure have witness of that in small communities and on social media sites these days.
It may be all the gadgets and all the press that we are now finding at our finger tips!
The world of Hospice is getting close to its 40th year here in the USA
but I’ve always said that hospice does what was done long ago
in Native American communites
in old timey communities
where all were one, during times of heartache, illness, struggle.
Folks came together for the greater whole, in wellness, in sickness, in death and grief as active participants.
Harsh words and ugly actions were not seen so much, seldom voiced nor taken outside the fold.
Love conquered all it seemed
even when times were lean.
Kids never noticed that the Elders plates had less on them than ours did.
Pinto beans and fry bread
tomatoes from the garden
potatoes dug from the earth were peeled
and every once in awhile u got to stir the fudge on the stove and set it out on the back porch to harden
and lick the spoon!
We were family, we were kin,
we danced to the record player
and watched uncles and aunts
as they did the bop and got granny up in the living room and danced like there was no tomorrow
then ran out the back door to play.
When tragedy struck, we stood together,
we buried our own; their bodies lay in state in living rooms and we stayed by the casket as in honoring and standing vigil as friends came with plates of food to pay their respects, children came and went, all was normalized and part of the circle of life, love, caring, compassion.
Kin and friends, community took care of each other
much akin to the mission and vision of
Hospice Care!
Many cultures across the world do that today; many tribes in Native American lives do that today,
they stick together, live together, share the same loaf of bread
yet often feel alone or abandoned by the greater whole of the country.
Care giving is alot like that at times;
isolating, lonely, frightening
for those with means and support and with insights like the Eagle it can and is often the most rewarding experience of a lifetime, yet it is draining and takes a tremendous toll over time.
That toll is hard to measure; yet its effects are seen in absentissm at work, in homes in behaviors, in depression, in illness, in lack of purpose and laughter that is less heard and good times that wane over time.
Tools for coping once ample seem to get rusty as resources are scarce and energy wanes while demand to do and go and rush take over.
History once rich seems to be forgotten
and harsh words and feelings seem to be at an all time high.
STRESS trumps kindness.
We are seeing across our lands where GReat-Aunts, Godmothers, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, extended families are being charged with caring for children and teens more and more.
They are now having to dip into savings, into their own pockets to make ends meet for those they raised and do without in the process.
They are now having to add to their lives a new generation
after raising their own.
Their lives are now in turmoil and they did not plan for that addition, nor expense; many having to return to the workplace just to make ends meet or take on odd jobs, or go hungry.
Many are finding themselves with such grave disappointments in their children, shame, blame, issues of such intensity that conversations become silent or anger looms large.
Young people are forgetting gratitude to the kin that are now stepping up and raising them or making their dreams happen, and helping with that raising;
they are in those years of “it’s all about me”, or “why isn’t mom here” or
“well why can’t I have or do this”.
Back in the day doesn’t apply to these days anymore.
The stakes are different, the risks are more intense and the game has changed.
We are witnessing grown adults not acting so adult; seeing bad choices in the making; those being incarcerated at record numbers; women/men all colors, all economic status.
Charges of substance abuse, child abuse, neglect and harm.
Who ends up with their kids?
extended family members, foster homes, the “system”.
We all know the system is broken and utilized as a last resort!
Grandparents, the Elders
in rural areas, in communities, in big cities, some in those communities for those 55 and over
now having to fight the home owners associations begging to be able to keep little ones and teens with them or being forced to leave their very homes
secondary to dire situations where there is no alternative.
Many who are now facing caring for a grandchild or new generation
also suffer health issues themselves.
Who is caring for them?
Who in the community is standing up to bring in speakers and offering community workshops/seminars to address the very real needs of support and education for those in the role of
around our Nation?
This is happening more than one can imagine!
It is different now,
than the days where many generations lived under the same roof;
all working and playing and praying as a family.
When those days were good and everyone contributed, the Elders were revered, the little ones learned valued lessons, and times were so very different.
These days of caregiving are coming from a time when balls are being dropped somehow,
when things and responsibilies are being handed back to those who are the wise ones, or the ones who have enabled or have somehow gotten the kids that now are being handed off.
Sometimes though they are the benefactors of children as a result of tragedy, of illness, of circumstance
they are to be applauded in their kindness and their efforts.
Care-giving is difficult work, and yes make no mistake it is WORK
It is difficult to pass down the stories, the wisdom the care and the love
when one is exhausted from doing and goin and doing more.
It is hard to keep up when one is ill, is out of the proverbial loop of all that is going on in the minds and in the schools of those young people out there today.
This is a fast paced, pressure filled world we live in,
one that we need to know
when we say
“sandwich generation”
there are also those out there
who invented the very sandwich we are talking about
that are raising a new generation
who need some love and support!
Thank you Grandparents/Extended Families/kinship
for standing up.
Sometimes you just wish it was like the good ole days when everyone pitched in.
When Grandpas and Grannys
sat and taught and told
and loved
and then watched
as the young flew like the eagle
 video by
Take BEst Care of you along this journey.
Prayers continue and the candles stay lit for
Thomas O’Brien and his Mom Debbie Koenig out there in Texas.
They spent yesterday snuggling, talking, watching movies, just being together,
savoring each moment along this journey that thousands are sharing with him in support, prayer, love
WE STAND with him.
Walk in BEauty

6 comments on “CAre Giving Across the Ages

  1. Absolutely excellent the way this was brought home. Grandparents are at their wits end, and have more than they can deal with. Loved this, and blessings to all.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. As Son and I are one of those caregiving situations, I understand this so well. My eldest chose to take care of me with my health as it is. If he had not, I would be in an assisted iiving facility and not one of the fancy ones that some can afford but whatever medicaid would pay for. He is wonderful to me but having been a caregiver myself, I know the need for him to have time to be away from this and have outside friends and so that helps him.
    You are so right…caregiving IS work and it is hard no matter how much you love the one(s) you are taking care of. And being a grandparent who just kept a grandchild during the day, I know how physically hard it is to have a child to care for after yours is grown and gone.
    Awesome words Sherry as always and you are such an advocator for those that are suffering and in pain and for those that are caregivers. Hugs friend

    • Blessings and love to YOU and to son… take time to laugh during what is often hard work for the caregiver and the one receiving the care… you both are a tribute to the beauty of love that is eternal and the power of communication and adaptations, I stand in awe and respect of you both along the journey… with love

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