The Day I Became A Caregiver, Part One

shari

The Day I Became A Caregiver, Part One

shari
(Editor's Note: We welcome Shari, who cares for her mom and cared for her dad, to our blogging team. You can connect with Shari on her profile page: @shari.)family roots

The year was 2011. It was a gorgeous summer day and I was spending the weekend at my cousin's house on Long Island taking care of their new puppy while they had to go out of town for a friend's wedding. I had not a care in the world as this was my time. Let me back up here and tell you a little of about my life.

I grew up in a wonderful home with two loving parents and a brother. I graduated college and went on to work as as a men's neckwear designer. Importing mens ties from Italy, I was lucky to have spent my 20's traveling the world with my home base in NYC. When I was 28 I married and a year later I had a beautiful baby girl.anchors I was lucky that my husband made a nice living and I was able to become a full time mom. Unfortunately by the time she was 5 years old, I was in the midst of a divorce. I was now going to have to re-create my professional self. Knowing that my first responsibility was to my daughter, going back to a job that required traveling was not an option. As luck would have it I found a part-time job working in promotions. This opened the door to new possibilities, though I was sad to leave our life living in Manhattan. I was lucky and landed a job working for a global cosmetic company as a print purchasing agent. Promotional products in the cosmetic industry is huge and from this I became a packaging engineer. Raising a daughter, living in the suburbs, working in the corporate world and being a single mom was full of many challenges but life was good. I was also lucky to have my mom and dad close enough to fill in for me when I needed help with my daughter.

Before I knew it my daughter was graduating high school and she was off to college. My baby was grown and a new chapter for me was opening up. Honestly I couldn't wait to leave the confines of the corporate world. So now with my financial responsibilities easing I knew it was my time to once again recreate myself.  I sold my house and as I had been dating someone who lived in the city (New York)  I felt the world once again was my oyster! The next few years I was able to take life a bit easier. I was able to travel and it was about this time I was starting to learn about internet marketing. I knew I did not want to go back to corporate life so learning a new trade working for myself seemed to be a great opportunity. Working in the cosmetics field for all those years I decided to take my knowledge about beauty and anti aging products to good use. Learning how to target products I knew so well was actually fun and it felt like such a natural progression.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA At this time my parents were getting on in years and New York winters in NY were taking a toll on them. My mom has a brother (otherwise known as my rich uncle ;) and he invited them to move out to California to live on his estate. A couple of years passed and they seemed to be doing great out there. I visited them and all seemed to be great. Little did I know that what I thought was great was actually the opposite. As time went on, things were falling apart yet neither my mom or my dad shared any of this. Speaking to them I never knew how miserable they really were.

And then the day came and that dreaded call came. My cousin called me and said someone needs to come out immediately as there was some discourse going on between my mom and my uncle.  Let me back up a minute here, though my dad made a great living, my parents were not exactly financially responsible and they had no plan in place for their retirement. Instinctively I knew if there were some huge issues between my mom and her brother, and my fear of where they were going to now live was of great concern.

And so when that call came I knew I had no choice but to get on a plane.

Little did I know that once I got on that plane my life was to change.

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4 Comments

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yvonne

I can't wait to read more, thank you for this.

Denise

I'm so glad you are blogging, Shari! I love that you shared about your life before caregiving. You've had so many successes in your career--kudos. And, certainly, you must consider your greatest success to be your daughter. :) I'm looking forward to hearing what comes next.

anita0419

Hi Shari, Glad to see you are writing your story. I hope doing this helps with the feelings you are dealing with. Your story sounds fascinating and I can't wait to hear more. Keep putting those feelings into words. We are here to listen and help in any way we can.

Lillie Fuller

Welcome to blogging Shari! I look forward to more! Thank you for being here!