Recently, I realized that as I get ready for retirement, I have something to offer. Perhaps this will help others as they transition into the care giving life. I’m hoping to make this a place for people in the “baby boomer” community cope with the hard work, intense emotion, and sometimes overwhelming confusion that comes with giving your support, your heart, and your life over to care giving. I repeat that I am not a trained expert, but rather an experienced caregiver who has even been the person being cared for near the beginning of my life and two years ago – at the time in my life I want to think is late middle age. (:))
My story actually begins in Fairfax County Hospital (Virginia) in the fall of 1963. After coming through a major surgical procedure and overhearing the doctor tell my parents my life would most like end before my 25th birthday, a seed sprouted in my mind. It grew slowly over the next 40 years, mostly ignored. Then, after a request from my mother to move near to them to help her out, the seed’s roots spread. Mom finally gave in and told me all that transpired with my childhood illness, that my father took the transfer out of Alaska and gave up flying so I could receive the best medical care, and that they really believed they would outlive me.
The seed blossomed into determination. The decision to move out of Alaska myself took little thought. I would make sure neither of my parents spent their last years in a nursing home. That decision became the best, most joyful, difficult, and painful decision I’ve ever made. It was worth every minute.
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