One of the families was new to the neighborhood. I was somewhat nervous about Dean's presentation, but he had shaved off his beard and mustache for me for Christmas, so I thought this might be a good time for the introductions. He didn't look as wild and wooly as before The Shave, so we bravely ventured outside and enjoyed the last of our unseasonably warm weather.
It was nice to touch bases with these families who live almost on our doorstep, but who really live such separate lives. It reminded me of a neighbor we had a few years ago. Even though they were right across the street, I had no idea that she was a caregiver too. She took care of her mother.
I only learned about her challenges and isolation when she was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. It was stressful and traumatic for the whole family. Her brother, who lived somewhere else, had to step in and attend to the business of selling the house, putting their mom in a long term facility, and finding some mental health assistance for his sister.
All this family drama happened right across the street. I should have been there for them earlier, but was too wrapped up in caring for my own. Her story, when I finally learned of it, inspired me to be more proactive in helping other caregivers. It's so important to reach out to others for help. Caregivers must learn to take care of themselves, in addition to their loved ones.
God created human beings as social creatures. We were designed to be with each other, to care for each other, and to love each other. And the whole purpose is to equip us to have a relationship with our Creator. In taking a tiny step in knowing my neighbors, I pray I can stay connected with them, but more importantly, I can grow closer to God, who doesn't need a card and "letter" to know ALL about us.
|My best Christmas present ever--a clean-shaven husband (he did keep a little "soul patch" though).|