What Caregiving Has Done for Me

Susan

What Caregiving Has Done for Me

Susan
calendula-185322_640Hello everyone! My name is Susan and I am new to this site.

I would like to share my story that brought me here in the first place. I believe that God has a plan for all of us. But I would never have  imagined that being a caregiver would become a part of my plan. I think in many ways it saved me.

Allow me to explain. I received a frantic phone call from my father one morning. I could tell by the tone in his voice that this was serious. He told me that my mother's progression with Parkinson's disease had worsened, she was in the hospital, and some changes had to be made. Little did I realize that my father's health had also deteriorated. Suddenly, I was thrown into the role of caregiver, decision maker, and legal representative for both of my parents. My life changed overnight. Honestly, I never saw this one coming!

My mother and I always had a strained relationship which also affected the relationship I had with my father. While my younger brother was always favored over me, I married at an early age and moved three states away, eager to begin a life of my own. Needless to say, I carried a lot of emotional baggage with me that affected me in negative ways throughout the years. So when it came time to get involved with my parents care, I naturally assumed that my brother would want to help out. This was not the case. He chose not to get involved, and stated that he was much too busy. This left only me. I decided that day to put everything behind me and focus on the present moment. I couldn't turn my back on them now.

Four years later, I am so grateful for this gift in my life. Not only have I learned a valuable lesson about forgiveness, but I also learned the true meaning of unconditional love. Caring for my parents and all their health issues helped me to remember my passion for natural health care. It gave me the inspiration to follow my heart and pursue a career as a certified nutritional consultant.

Two years ago, my mother lost her battle with Parkinson's disease and dementia. I will always be grateful for the special time I shared with her and my father.  We all learned life's most important lessons together. I am thankful for the choices I made that led to this opportunity for growth, and to find my own inner strength that will carry me through the rest of my life!

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Denise

What a great first post!! I'm always amazed when what we dread becomes what we cherish. You have a very special heart. :) Looking forward to your next post.

Sue

Susan - What a lovely story of how life sometimes gives us things we don't even know we need. Glad to hear you were able to find positives in your experience with what is often a very rough disease (dementia/Parkinson's).