The Junk is Out of the Trunk (Or in This Case, the Boxers)

Amy Bellis

The Junk is Out of the Trunk (Or in This Case, the Boxers)

Amy Bellis
hiding covering crazy dog with tie and dumb glassesYou're helping your father-in-law into bed and suddenly his you-know-what plops out onto mattress and you find yourself doing the "do not look directly at IT" dance.

While helping Grandma pee, you come face to face with her who-ha.

Your 16-year-old son walks in as Grandma decides to wear only her birthday suit on her way to the bathroom.

Feeding Grandpa tapioca pudding is one thing, but seriously? Will any of you ever recover after image of that-which-shall-not-be-named has been burned into your brain?

The reality is that if you’re caring for someone, you are more than likely going to see things that you wished you hadn’t. Some circumstances are more challenging than others -- a woman caring for her father-in-law or a son giving mom a sponge bath -- but in the end, only one thing matters.

The role of being a family caregiver begins and ends with love.

The profound love between a parent and child, the commitment between two lifelong friends, or the unbreakable bonds of siblings -- it doesn’t matter. Every single thing you do in this role is an act of love -- cooking dinner, cutting their meat, and yes, wiping their ass.

No matter how you react in the moment, whether you laugh or cry, in the grand scheme of everything else that you two are going through together, THIS faux-pas is not going to matter.

In the end, all your caree will feel is loved and cared for. If they’ve had a hospital stay, the chances are pretty good that they have already given up any hope of modesty. Even those who felt a little embarrassed at first say that after the initial exposure, they just felt unconditional love.

So the next time you are called into the bathroom to help, just take a deep breath and remind yourself that there is no greater act of love than to care for another person’s basic needs. And in the end, isn't feeling loved all that really matters?

Regardless of the meaning, you still have to survive the moment, so think of yourself as a nurse, and you have a job to do but remember to maintain your sense of humor. It’s impossible to be truly embarrassed and laughing at the same time. Try to have a BALL:

Breathe - take a deep breath
Attitude - don't take yourself too seriously
Love - is the basis for all of this
Laugh - beats the hell out of crying, right?

Have you ever come face to face with your parent's unmentionables? Share your story (and how you handled it) in the comments below. We'll keep your story private, I promise. This group's "junk" stays in the trunk!