It's a Long Climb Up the Caregiving Ladder


It's a Long Climb Up the Caregiving Ladder

I was out of town on Sunday night for a training on Monday in Milwaukee. I traveled with two colleagues who I joined for dinner on Sunday night. During dinner, I enjoyed a few beers. As I ordered my beer, I said, "I don't drink anymore because I'm afraid I'll get a midnight phone call about my parents. But, I'm out of town and  not available to help so I'm going to enjoy a beer."

Later that night, I had the oddest dream. My dad and I were climbing steep, rickety ladders. The climb required nerves of steel across suspended ladders which offered no safety net underneath. We climbed and climbed with a mass of other climbers; at times, we needed to fight the thick crowds for space on the ladder rung for our feet. At one point, I said to my dad, "We need to take a break. Let's stop for a few minutes."

And then I woke up.

I shared my dream with my colleagues and then wondered out loud what it meant. And, then, it dawned on me. It's hard work to walk our carees up the ladder to heaven. Because it's hard, it's good to take a break once in awhile and have a beer with friends.

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Lillie Fuller

I think your dream interpretation is spot on! Glad you could enjoy a few beers!

CathyJ powerful and true. We do need to take those times to have breaks and most people don't realize that we can't do that easily. That we have to be out of town and unavailable, as you say. Caregivers are always on high alert and thinking about this moment and the next few moments and our activities are shaped by those moments. What a profound image with the ladder..thank you for sharing.


\"I'm out of town and not available to help\" so you can have a beer. Normal, non-caregiving people would absolutely not get this statement and what it means. Good for you for having that little bit of space.


I am glad you were able to relax and have a few beers with friends. You deserve it.

Lynette Whiteman

Wow - this gave me chills Denise. Such a profound dream. There are so many ways to interpret it. It also made me think that what you're doing with and putting together NCC18 is providing a safety net for so many caregivers. Your dad should be proud. I'm glad you were able to take a break and have a few beers. Even the leader of the pack needs a break!