“So hey, what are you doing this weekend?”
The question felt like a strange slap in the face. This is someone, albeit long distance, who knows that I am a caregiver and knows that things are challenging. But clearly it’s not been communicated how very challenging it is, like every single day is a huge mountain to climb. I collapse in bed exhausted each night thankful to have made it through another day.
And then a few weeks ago someone asked, “Hey, can you get away for the weekend? Just take a couple of days off and come down?”
Again, it was so strange. It felt like someone was talking to me from another world that I barely remember. Seriously. I just don’t remember that life hardly.
It’s been many years since those abilities were available. My loved one first fell ill in 2013, then things exploded really severely in 2016. It’s now 2019 and it’s been since 2012 since we haven’t been fighting for someone’s life, enduring repeat hospitalizations, etc… That and with severe LBD, there’s no “getting away” or doing something for fun for the weekend. I barely remember that life.
Caregiving is a life of no breaks, vacations, weekends off, etc… And I get why most people don’t understand. They typically put their loved ones in the nursing home when things become really severe. My mom has asked since I was a young child never to do that and we’re trying. No guarantees but we’re trying.
In places like the Middle East and African nations rarely do such a thing–the whole family system takes care of them together. Which is so awesome. I wish we would return to that but that sense of more than one or two taking care of someone doesn’t even translate to the immediate others in the family.
One day I will again maybe think to myself, “what will I do this weekend?” Or maybe entertain the thought of getting away for a few days. But that season isn’t now.
And has it been worth it? Yes. Has the price been severe? Yes.
But for those we love, it’s always worth it.