This point was brought out to me at last night's meeting. Since November is National Family Caregivers Month, we wanted to highlight the caregivers among us. So, the topic centered on the needs and challenges of the caregivers who were present.
Some of the positive benefits that were mentioned included...
- a sense of giving back to someone,
- the satisfaction of knowing that our loved one is getting the best care possible,
- increased meaning and purpose in life, and
- a feeling that we are modeling a tradition of caring for others to emulate.
We not only have an obligation to advocate for our loved one's needs, but for the needs of other caregivers, faced with similar struggles. This was done in a big way at the state level the day before at the Nebraska Capitol Building.
The governor signed a proclamation recognizing November as the month for caregivers. Three caregivers who were there to receive that proclamation included myself, a friend from my church, and another gentleman caregiver from our brain injury support group. It was a moment of pride to be among the many caregivers attending.
Also, that day we were provided a wonderful luncheon and more recognition at the governor's mansion, right next to the Capitol. The afterglow of this event was quickly overshadowed by two phone messages, left to me by Dean (my husband), upon my return home.
His messages went like this:
"It's 2:35 p.m. I woke up and couldn't find you. I've been looking for you everywhere. I don't know what to do. I love you, bye."
"This is Dean again. It's 2:38, and I'm trying to find you. I'm looking to go home. How did I get here? Please find me and take me home. Love you, bye."
His voice sounded so small and pitiful. Like a small child's. Although I have heard these cries from Dean before (he tends to get disoriented after his naps sometimes), they particularly touched me after having just come from such a privileged formal dinner, at a mansion no less.
How it must move the heart of God to hear the cries of His children down on this earth. He wants to sweep down and take us in His arms of love, as much as I wanted to reach out to Dean that day. Praise God, that day will come though. Like Dean, we must be patient and wait for our Supreme Caregiver to return and make all things right.
| That's me, second from the right--Joanne, third from the right, and Bill, the third from the left |
(two blue shirts).