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To My Caregiver: What I Want to Tell You

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on November 14, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Every day at 5 a.m., I hear you wake up across the hall, rustling the bed covers. You walk quietly to the kitchen as not to disturb me, so I can sleep.
Mother-daughter-blog-size.jpgYou brew the coffee for us, count out my pills for the morning and set everything on my breakfast tray. As you enter my room, you call my name, “Mom.” .

I open my eyes to see a fatigued but smiling woman. You help me sit up in bed, guide my hand so I can drink and place my medications on my tongue. You help me bathe and dress. You lift me into my wheelchair and comb my hair, parted the way you know I like. Then you bustle to get yourself ready for the day: project deadlines, doctor appointments, PTA meetings, etc

I want to thank you, my daughter, for caring for me. What could I do to show how much you mean to me? Words are too delicate to describe how deeply I feel, even if the words don’t escape me. Touch is too blunt, not detailed enough to express this emotion, even if my strength to embrace doesn’t fail me.

I know what you’ve given up to care for me: time, money and energy. When your friends call to visit or invite you somewhere, I wish I could see you excitedly dress up in your snazziest outfit like when you were younger. You can’t right now, though, because you’re caring for me. However, you aren’t disappointed or melancholy. You hug and kiss me often; treat me with the respect a mother deserves and the tenderness reserved for someone in need. I am not an obligation to you because you want to care for me not because you should. You make me feel wanted and not like a burden.

I want to thank you, my daughter, for caring for me. But, what could I do to show how much you mean to me? Words are too delicate to describe how deeply I feel, even if the words don’t escape me. Touch is too blunt, not detailed enough to express this emotion, even if my strength to embrace doesn’t fail me.

Some days I may seem ungrateful, bitter or unlike myself. For that, I apologize. The twinges of discomfort and veil of medications can distort my view and emotions. I don’t mean to make you cry or frustrate you. In fact, I try to do the opposite and show my gratitude, like now.

I want to thank you, my daughter, for caring for me. But, what could I do to show how much you mean to me? Words are too delicate to describe how deeply I feel, even if the words don’t escape me. Touch is too blunt, not detailed enough to express this emotion, even if my strength to embrace doesn’t escape me.

When you are discouraged and agitated, you apologize for your behavior. When you act harshly or are curt, you ask me to forgive you. It always makes me chuckle: Why should you apologize, and why should I forgive you? It’s normal, especially after all the things you do for me. I want you – who takes me to appointments, explains the coded lingo of doctors, looks after my every need, cooks my favorite dishes, washes my clothes and tucks me in bed every night – by my side. You handle the countless, thankless tasks of a family caregiver and love me unconditionally.

I want to thank you, my daughter, for caring for me. What could I do to show how much you mean to me? Take our memories and keep hold them close: in your mind, in photographs and in written word. When you feel alone and wistful, relive them. Feel my love that echoes through the years and find comfort. That is my gift of gratitude.

At ComForCare/At Your Side Home Care, we recognize and appreciate the dedication and commitment of family caregivers. Thank you for all you do; you truly make a positive difference in your loved one’s life. If you want to learn more about respite services or home care in general, download our Ultimate Home Care Planning Guide.

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Topics: Caregiving

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