Caregiver Underground Railroad

Mar

Caregiver Underground Railroad

Mar
(Editor's Note: We welcome Mar, who cares for her husband, to our blogging team today. You can connect with Mar on her profile page: @marfromwi.)

light-353931_640OK, deep breath. This is my first blog post. I decided to post on my thoughts on my first week being part of the caregiving.com  community.

I am new to this, and at 61 years old it is uncomfortable to be a rookie at something. I 'jumped in" and decided to use the expectant caregiver's favorite word--ask. So I asked questions about the website (and still am), asked people about their ideas of where to begin, etc.

From the very first moment, I felt "this is home." So many things I've been searching for, both in real life and on the web, ended up being damaging to me, as I heard from people who saw everything bad about this circumstance, and nothing good. I have had a lifelong tendency to see "what's wrong" or "what could go wrong" rather than "what's right" and "what can go right." I am shifting that perspective, because this is my real life, and I want to engage in it fully, with acceptance and hope. Here, I found immediately people with an intention to do this journey with joy and beauty and compassion and devotion--while acknowledging our humanity and our finite capacities. Here, I found a focus on those things which will care for the caregiver, bring renewal and comfort and friendship.

And, I found people. Real life people. Not people in a book or a story or a movie, but people who are living the sacred life of a caregiver every day. I found people willing to be so vulnerable and open about their lives and story, willing to come alongside with others in a steady, faithful, "I am here" way. I can hardly believe that our acquaintance and friendship began only a week ago.

Which leads me to the word picture that often comes to mind when people who have been strangers the day before have a lasting impact on my life. I get an  image of the Underground Railroad, that system of "safe cabins" open to those traveling a treacherous and otherwise dangerous road. They hung lanterns outside their cabins and gave a safe place to the weary, fearful traveler. That lantern said "I've been on this journey too. Let me be a forerunner for you, and let me give you hope that you can make it. Let me point you to the next cabin where you will learn from the next person about this journey." And cabin by cabin, and lantern by lantern, the person journeyed on. Not without fear or challenges, but with hope and determination that they could make it through.

So thank you for this cabin, and thank you for your lanterns which say "I am here. Let me be a forerunner for you. Though our circumstances are different, I have traveled this journey a bit ahead of you, and I can help. You are safe here. And you are welcome. Come inside."

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4 Comments

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Maria

Mar, \r\nSO glad you are with us! Caregiving.com has helped me SO much & I am grateful for their help & support!\r\nHugs!\r\nMaria

jan

That is an absolutely amazing insight. I am so glad to have read that and will take that into my mind and heart today. Thank you.

Hansolosgirl

You rock Mar! It helps so much to get the words and emotions out! Lately I find I don't even know what I'm feeling and get it out on my blog, it's so helpful. I'm pretty new too, about a month and feel the same, I love how you put it so eloquently!

Denise

Hi Mar!! I'm so glad you jumped in with our chats and activities and now blogging!\r\n\r\nI can't say it any better than <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/lily/' rel=\"nofollow\">@lily</a> so I'll just say what Chaya said. :)\r\n\r\nI'm looking forward to your next blog post. Keep going!! You're adding your own lantern. :)