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.

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7 Comments on "The Slave Driver and The Better Parts of Caregiving"

Profile photo of Pegi
Dec 9, 2013

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!

Profile photo of Casandra
Dec 9, 2013

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

Profile photo of EllysGdaughter
Dec 11, 2013

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 Trish
Dec 13, 2013

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. :-)