Caregiving Truths

Sometimes what seems like a straw
may just be a more than we see or ever think of ready to be played!
Just as Olivia once was so intent on that ever so cute photo that Nana captured,
it seemed she was playing her heart out on a fine instrument indeed that she could later dance to the music from!
Creativity is the name of the game in
I do believe~
More times than not it will require you to have on your
“water wings”
a control of YOU in your hand
and at times it will surely curl your toes,
as a younger Kamryn demonstrates so well,
and at times it requires you to
“set your mouth just right” for the ride you will feel like you are on.
And at times it will be a wild ride indeed while other times
a ride like none other with sights and sounds and smells and experiences that you will treasure the rest of your life.
But make no mistake,
care-giving is a ride for those who are not with a faint heart.
The Elders now caring for the adults, the grands, the little ones…
Great-Aunts, Godparents, Grandparents, Extended families
now finding themselves raising a new generation and finding themselves with a new set of rules
so vastly different from their own ways, cultures, norms.
Once able to feed their families on food grown from a garden that was planted by the whole family, food washed from water from the well and distributed around a table where the family bowed their heads with thanks.
Now a table where the food is scarce,
the cell phones out and texts a flyin from here to there,
the pants on the ground unless a rope holds em up; unless that fad doesn’t live where you do anymore!
Now a time of coke being more than a bottle of pop.
 A ho being something other than what is used in the garden,
and when you “are down with that” it does not mean you have the flu.
So much to keep up with, so many things to be on top of,
to be groovey is not cool,
to be “fly” is now the way to
be “fresh” but not rude.
A rollercoaster looks tame in relation to all that is happening in the world of caring for our youth,
and add to that the schools that are now lowering their standards when kids do not do well on standardized tests rather than work harder to bring them UP and educate them better.
to understanding.
Those who are providing care
would do well
with support, with tips to enhance their suvival and their self preservation along this arduous path of caring.
The tracks are long and sometimes isolating.
Sometimes caregivers just want to lay on those tracks and hope for the train…
So for them,
perhaps they need to know,
they are NOT alone in those feelings.
In communities across the Nation, there are those who Stand up
and find ways to get speakers in the community to hold seminars/workshops to talk to them, to help to restore some balance and empower them in ways to enhance coping.
They can find others in their communities and set up
“caregiver support groups”
and the effects and impact can be awe=inspiring, validating and make a tremendous difference.
May it help to know a few things.
YOU are not responsible for the actions of the person that led you to this place unless they are YOUR actions!
If you are the caregiver of a grandchild, niece or nephew;
you are not responsible for the actions of your adult child.
YOU must take best care of you.
Remember the friendly airline steward?
YOU must first put YOUR oxygen mask on before rendering aide to another.
tip number 1.
YOU are your most precious resource.
Enlist resources and support.
People don’t know what they don’t know.
Unless you ask, you will never know what you need along this journey of caring for another.
AWARENESS is the key to understanding.
*Walk or exercise daily
*Make YOU time every day
* Find someone to talk with; even if by phone or internet to feel a connection
* Laugh (even if its at yourself or the circumstances) where there is tragedy there lies comedy somewhere.
* Learn of what is out there on the streets
*Call everyone in the community to enlist help
*Know that there will be some unsettling times
*Find ways to educate, to maintain connections to YOUR traditions, your routines, while finding ways to incorporate the newness you are now in
*Concentrate on the NOW. Don’t dwell in the past or become the story of why/when/how.
*Try to not look to far down the tracks, it can be overwhelming
*Practice mindfulness
*Look to your faith to sustain, to maintain, to comfort
*Talk Talk Talk to the one you are providing care for
*Learn to say NO
*Be like a willow; strong enough to bend
*Make a list of 3 things, stick with the list
Caregiving is rewarding, it is Work,
it is circumstances
and it is a wild ride at times.
A ride that not only is being taken by what we call the
“sandwich generation”
but by those we know as the
WE must teach the children that respect for the Elders has been earned, props should and will be given to our wisdom keepers.
Even when they are ready to bring out the big gun to make their point;
those caregivers
are quite amazing, funny, serious
and Warriors!
Whether caring for Mothers, Fathers, spouses,
Children or grandchildren
YOU just don’t want to mess to much with them
They might just bring out
the squirt gun on ya!
we know what happens then~
Prayers and candles are lit
Thomas O’Brien and his beautiful mom
Debbie Koenig
as she says that he is getting weaker, he is wanting her near him; wanting to gaze upon her, touch and smell her, taking her into his heart and soul for the Next place.
WE ARE STANDING for you dear sweet boy, and Debbie we are here.
Lean into us if you want or need,
we ARE here.
YOU are loved.
Wherever you are
Whatever you are doing
Please take a moment,
light your candle
say a prayer for
Thomas O’Brien
a warrior with eyes that we will all hold in our hearts
as he has taught thousands lessons that will stay long after he dances into the galaxies and is embraced by the angels.
Thank you sweet boy, you are a warrior of amazing grace
lent to the world for such a short time, who lived large and wide.DANCE
Walk in BEauty

5 comments on “Caregiving Truths

  1. Blessings on the suns rays to all who gather here, I can see I have been writing on a topic that is dear and painfilled to many here……..

    Remember to put your oxygen mask on first and to surround yourself with others that YOU can listen to and be heard by…

    Creator gives us two ears and one mouth for a reason I suppose, yet it is up to each of us to “choose wisely”

    along the journey.

  2. Not for the faint of heart is sooo right. Just knowing it is the "right" thing to be doing is all that can sustain at times.

  3. Hello, the care givers blog you have written hit me here at home. I seem to be a care giver all of my life for different people, volunteer works and family. It can be very difficult at times carrying the load of someone elses problems. It seems life gets more complicated as we grow older. Maybe we just cant handle as much as we could in younger days. So good to read and would be interested to hear other readers view points on this article that should touch a lot of peoples hearts. My prayers are still strong for Thomas and Debbie. I keep them close to my heart and just to know how much they love each other and how sad this is going to be for both of them. Blessings to both of them and to all who have Thomas and Debbie in their hearts and prayers. Thomas you are an Angel who was sent here to be a support to so many people and to teach us to love one another. God Bless You and Debbie. The angels will hold you as your precious Mom is doing right now. Blessing to all.

  4. Thank you Dr. Sherry for your words today on the caregivers of many homes. Those caregivers for children and for the elders are on a very difficult and weary journey that seems to never end at times. Indeed you are correct to say it is not for the faint of heart. I loved the pictures of Olivia and Kamryn when they were wee ones and so cute. Prayers today for Thomas there in Texas, Mom Debbie and furry Seamus, Ali and her Father and others mentioned here from time to time. Wishing all those who stop by her a peaceful and sunny day. /Sandy♥

  5. Too bad we can not fly you all over the country to places speaking for if businesses really cared about their employees they would have people coming in to help them learn how to take best care of them in the toughest of times for now is when we need people like you speaking and showing us the way. Everyone needs to copy your promo on your keynote speaker page up top and take it to their bosses and say “we need her to come speak to us”. 😉 loved this and loved seeing granny on the motorcycle. LOL. morning friend…hope your day is beautiful in FL and the sun is shining and all the cricket frogs are singing to ya. hugs.

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