November 30th already! This month has flown by. For my last thankful post for the year, I want to go back to two people who I only mentioned briefly in my very first thankful post. I thought about it and I felt like these very special people kind of got the short end of the stick since I included them in a lump with the first nine things/people I said I was thankful for.
As I mentioned yesterday, I have learned from Lisa and from my own experiences that caretaking for someone who is sick is often an extremely thankless job. Most people are usually concerned for the person who is sick. The sick person often gets the cards, support, the phone calls, the emails, and the outpouring of kindness… But the caretakers often go overlooked even though they are struggling with the worry, stress, and pure exhaustion that directly accompanies caring for a loved one who is sick.
I am so thankful for the people who have been my caretakers since I have been sick. I am not sure how I would have survived thus far without them.
Brad, first of all has amazed me with his strength through this time. He has never wavered in assuring me that everything will turn out okay in the end. He has endured many mascara soaked shirts. He has picked up the pieces when everything has seemed to fall apart. He has picked up the slack of not only working full time, but doing so much of the “extras” such as housework, grocery shopping, cooking, picking up prescriptions, driving me all over the Midwest to doctors….
He has rubbed my feet or my back each night to help me fall asleep. He puts my compression stockings on each morning (which I am convinced would become a viral YouTube video if we ever posted it). That’s love people.
When I feel the guilt of, “but you didn’t sign up for a wife with an illness” he always tells me I’m silly and assures me he loves me for me, with or without an illness. Brad has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, that only a caretaker often experiences with someone who is sick. I told Brad the other day, that this past year could have made us stronger, or could have made us fall apart at the seams. I am so thankful that I can say that our marriage is now stronger because of what we have been experiencing together. Brad, I know you do not often get told this, but I am so, so thankful for you and everything you do for US. You are the love of my life, and my rock. I love you and I am so thankful for you.
My Mom, has also been one of my caretakers during this time (who am I kidding…all of my life). My Mom has understood that while I am sick, it is still important to allow me to do normal things, and to get out into the world. I look forward to our Sunday afternoons, because this is the time my Mom picks me up and we go to church, to lunch, and shopping. She pushes me in my wheelchair like she is an expert.
My Mom is such a sounding board and a voice of reason for me. She truly gives the best advice. When I get to my hysterical point, my Mom is best at calming me down and helping me gain perspective. She always reminds me of how strong I am and that I will get over this hurdle I am facing. My Mom also has done so many thankless tasks for me as well including driving me all over to doctors, taking my blood pressure, taking me to the ER, constantly lifting me up when I get down…
I know my Mom is tired. She is tired after having two of her daughters sick in the last three years. She is tired with worry. But she never lets you know. My Mother is the strongest woman I know. I truly believe she is a saint. I am thankful that I can call my Mom one of my best friends. She is my biggest fan. I love you Mama. Thank you for everything.
And to end this post and to close out November, I am thankful for the opportunities and twists and turns that lie ahead. I am thankful for the ability to see how my story continues to unfold. Pure and simple, I am thankful for my life.
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