(8+1): Lights of Excitement

Roaring Mouse

(8+1): Lights of Excitement

Roaring Mouse
Lights of ExcitementTonight is the eighth night. The last night of Channukah. It is the most beautiful and sad at the same time. It is a time for pause, reflection, merriment and in my case memories. Memories (tears).  My hubby passed in July. Little one started school and I a new job in August. In September it was National Preparedness Month, birthdays and holidays. October was spent watching the autumn leaves fall and addressing Little One’s interest in Halloween for the first time. November we spent trying to get into a regular schedule. Life is starting to hum along.

Then Thanksgiving comes.  A year ago hubby came home from a five-month stint in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day 2011. Now, 2012 it was just overwhelming me. There was nothing about it to look forward to. Then by His grace we were invited to four Thanksgiving dinners. We went to all four starting at 12:30 in the afternoon and came home at 8:30 at night. After Little One went to bed, I cried and cried and cried. I was thankful that our day had been so involved. It made it go by quickly. But I realized that I couldn’t keep crying over each holiday so intensely. Which in and of itself was kinda bizarre specially since we really hadn’t observed, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. over the past several years.

Now Channukah was coming and I knew I had to teach Little One how joyous the holiday is. How on earth....? I can do all the physical stuff easily, light candles, prayers, gifts but how do I personally reflect that I am happy during this holiday too? How do I teach her that this holiday is not to be reflected in sadness but in gladness, in miracles.  G-d knows we’ve certainly survived a number of them. (I didn’t even tell you that the same year that Hubby had his accident he almost lost her and I in childbirth.)

I realized I had to make a very conscious choice. One that would help me in the course of a different mindset. I knew I still might cry during the holiday but instead I wanted it to be tears of joy not misery. That is where I got the idea for writing the series (8+1).  This was my gift to me.  I got excited. What would I write? What would the audience want to know? What hurdles do I want to climb over thus releasing me from never having spoken of some of these memories?

Confession: I never knew what I was going to write until I sat down and actually wrote it. So yes, each entry was written “on the fly” and posted as soon as I completed it. Thus if the time were to show on the post, know that that post was only written within the two hours before it was posted.  Though I did give myself 24 hours to focus on the next topic.

So I gave you a “Preview” to the “Lights” of the holiday.  Hopefully I shared with with the importance and value of being an “Attendant.” You deserve “Support”, act with “Humility” even if it means that you are sometimes “Walking Through Fire.” Now “Breathe.” Realize that “The Thing Inside you that Gives” is the conscious decision you made to help someone. Be proud of that. Don’t dwell in the melted wax. Look at all the pretty colors instead. I like the pretty colors. Each one represents each one of you, my fellow caregivers who helped me get through Channukah (However, I have to admit the extra tears were as much a gift when I gave away Hubby’s power chair to a very deserving go-getter in life.)

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What I learned in this exercise:  Hubby gave me so much and even more. The best way I can honor his memories is by doing exactly what I have done. Educate myself and use it to help others. (Tears.) He is more a part of me then I ever realized until now. But “now” I will do something positive with it.  I will go into the world and hopefully impart his wisdom to his daughter and his teachings to others as he has taught me.

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Lest you forget, my friends, I called this (8+1) intentionally. For you see lights never go out. You always get excited when looking at Christmas lights, don’t you?!  The last part of this series will show up sometime between Christmas Eve and Day. Have a Happy Channukah and Merry Christmas!

The Roaring Mouse

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PS. Here’s my holiday gift to you, written in March of 2008.

A Caregiver knows…

Please don’t suggest that I don’t know when my spouse is in pain, you don’t spend 24/7 time with them.

Don’t tell me to do something that you can easily do in five minutes when you know it may take me up to a week to try and do.

If the procedure isn’t obvious to you, don’t pass it off as unimportant unless you have physically done the procedure yourself as a caregiver and performed it for over a year.

Can you put on your socks in the morning? My spouse can’t. So it takes us twice as long in the morning. So impatience doesn’t help make us move any faster for you.

The time we pick doesn’t fit into your schedule and no accommodation is possible. Lack of accommodations are something we live with and we make our schedule fit yours even if it means being late.

How often do you get a chance to go out for some time to relax? Anytime you want to. A caregiver never gets some “relax time” unless they know their loved ones that they are responsible for caring for are “relaxing.”

A caregiver’s credo is the Golden Rule. Why don’t you believe in that rule too?

You may think holding the door open is chivalrous; for us, it’s simply well appreciated and makes those few moments less impossible.

Your home is clean enough to have the prestigious eat off of the floor. Our home is clean enough to live in and have humans in.

At the end of the day you simply go to sleep. The caregiver’s end of the day does not occur until the one they are caring for has had all their medical, physical, mental and spiritual needs met to enable them to go to sleep comfortably. Then, the caregiver says a prayer and is thankful that another day has passed as being uneventful.

What have you learned?

A Caregiver has not only done more then learn, they know what it takes to be a “Caregiver”!

3/08

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