When I stopped everything to care for my mother, I assumed life would pick up where I had left off once she was gone. I don’t know why I thought that, but it did help me get through some of the trying times of that journey.
However, after she died it was difficult to find my footing. For one thing, I needed to to recover from the exhaustion and the weight gain of over thirty pounds from stress eating. For another, I was walking with a cane from an injury I’d had the year before. Physically, I was a wreck.
But most of my inability to move forward was due to emotional fallout, so I decided to be kind to myself and do whatever might be necessary to heal, recover and just breathe for awhile before taking on any big projects.
It was a good plan, but we quickly realized Mike’s parent’s were beginning to need far more support than we could provide from across the state. The process of moving them closer began and my role of caregiver evolved into something new.
At this writing, I’ve been an elder caregiver in one way or another for over a dozen years. Looking toward the future, there will be others who will also need me to be in their life for some sort of caregiving support. I’ve come to the realization that I’m going to be in this role for the rest of my life. That is a sobering thought.
Flipping through an old undated notebook I found something I wrote that expresses my thoughts right now.
“God is always at work…eventually, there will be a crisis of belief. Major life
adjustments are needed.”
Caregiving is not going to end.
Life is never going to be the way it used to be.
Major adjustments ahead.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.