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The Slave Driver and The Better Parts of Caregiving

Trish and 2013 Christmas tree

I only call this blog, The Slave Driver and The Better Parts of Caregiving, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen Robert this busy during a two-day period. Trish has had him writing his holiday cards, which he was able to complete twelve yesterday alone (a new record, last one was five).  He went with us to get our trees, yes I said trees. If you know Trish you know why I say this.

Over the past several years we have been able to only put about 2/3 of our ornaments on the large tree that sits in the living room. So we’ve always had several boxes of ornaments that would go back out into the Holiday Shed. Yes, a shed given as a birthday gift because we were running out of room in the garage (one of my better gifts).

Robert was on his feet or moving for the better half  of Saturday. Sunday we get moving and Robert gets ready, watches some church while Trish and I finish stringing the lights on the larger of the trees. By the time were done, there are 1,800 lights combined on the trees and Robert has already be instructed to work on his Christmas cards again.

9-1/2′ Douglas Fir

While working on the ornaments, I ask Robert if he would like to join us in decorating the tree. He agrees which I knew he would, however I only figured he may help with a handful of them, get bored or miss Jeopardy and want to go work on his puzzle book and watch his favorite show.  Was I surprised and happy that he stayed through four boxes of ornaments.

Trish had him walk into the living room and we had him sit in his walker, turned it to face the tree and pushed him close enough so he could reach the tree and hang ornaments. Only a few fell, the majority were caught by the tree itself and none broke, and best of all he was loving it. I have to say, I gave out before he did. After four boxes of standing, twisting, bending, etc and so forth my back was in knots and needed a stretch break. Trish asked Robert if he wanted to continue or not and he replied with, “I think I need a break also.” I feel real bad when I’m outdone by Robert, not that it’s a bad thing, just shows how different injuries or conditions affect us.

Robert placing ornaments on the 2013 tree

So through this whole experience everyone had an “EXCELLENT” time, Robert stepped out of his comfort zone and went with a Peppermint Hot Chocolate instead of his normal Chocolate Chip Frappachino after we picked up the trees; Trish and I had our usual.

And from what I understand Trish is not done with Robert, she has a special project the two of them will be doing this afternoon. Hang on, Robert, we’ve created a monster and “It’s Alive.”

What I’m trying to say from all of this is no matter what one abilities or inabilities, everyone wants to be apart of the family and be included in the routines of the holidays. If you don’t think so, pick your favorite holiday and then sit back and do nothing and see how hard it is to not help, offer advice or spend even $1.00 on it. Some people think that being disabled means being unable to do, but let’s show them that being disabled only means, we do it differently.

Think about how your caree can help you this year with the decorating, cooking, cleaning, chores, it may take a little bit longer (or a lot), give them a gift let them try.

From our house to yours, we all wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May everyone have the most wonderful 2014 you can.

About Richard

Profile photo of Richard
My name is Richard (@kreisr1), I am a Tri-Fecta caregiver, for my mother who has COPD among other health issues. I co-care for my brother in-law who has epilepsy and co-care with my wife's for myself, I deal with Chronic Back Pain.entire life and now after living alone, in a care facility and a group home setting we had to move him in with us to provide him with the care he needs.  Finally, with my wife who is also my co-caregiver I care for myself, I have had chronic pain (mid-low back) for 21-1/2 years thanks to a drunk driver.  I write my own blog, where I share my pain with humor, as I see thing, "Pain Without Humor is Just Painful."  I am involved with in several ways, as well as participating in several of the weekly blogs, I also am involved in their Twitter chats, I also host the following groups, SPOT (Stamp Procrastination Out Today), A Task A Day, The Men's Group, Healthy Caregiver and several others.  I am also the moderator for the Quiz Show and have a seat on the bi-monthly Hot Topic's show. I'm here to not only improve Roberts life, the lives of those I touch on and but to find a way to improve my own live.

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  1. Profile photo of Pegi

    I love this blog Richard! Picturing all you “elves” at your holiday duties brought a smile to my face. Thank you, and continue to enjoy…I love the idea of two Christmas trees, go @Trish!

  2. Profile photo of Casandra

    This was a very cute blog, Richard. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Profile photo of EllysGdaughter

    What a wonderful way to put a smile on my face today! Elly has been pretty resistant to things lately and I am encouraged again to try!!

    • Profile photo of Richard

      EGD, Don’t ever give up, because the minute you do the next try would have been the one you were waiting for. Plus you wouldn’t only be letting her down but yourself. You’ve come so far and to let it go, psssssst. I don’t think so. I know your just blowing off steam and that’s OK, I’ve done it with Robert (hope Trish isn’t reading this.. Oh yea she h

  4. Profile photo of Richard

    She is. Sorry about that. Any who, keep up the great work. Happy Holidays.

  5. Profile photo of Trish

    It was definitely a fun and productive weekend! After decorating the tree(s) I took Robert on a tour of the indoor decorations (and posted about it for the progressive blog party at This weekend I plan to finish the outside decor and take Robert on tour #2. :-)

  6. Profile photo of Richard

    Yes it was a great weekend.

    – Happy Holidays to All.



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