A Tribute to Caregivers

You were my family,I loved you, sometimes resented you, felt darkly confused and conflicted. Your illness set in slowly, as you lost your way your independence your self I became your caregiver and you my care partner.

This was a new role I was scared, even terrified i’ll admit, to try it on. I helped you to hang onto your dignity, in your home aging in place they call it, and you helped me, You gave me reason to get up in the morning, and night, You gave me a new life purpose. I helped you look good to the world, You helped me look good to the world.

Our relationship shifted maybe it’s just that I shifted my heart grew ripe and opened patience, ahhh patience, attentiveness to your person caring for you in ways i thought were impossible respecting you wholly I wish I’d learned this sooner.

I learned that pushing what I want for you can hurt us, our relationship, that pushing clashes with acceptance. Our relationship re-created now through routine daily tasks tiny details big conversations mammoth decisions dispensing meds, setting meal trays, changing bedsheets, dressing and undressing clothes, from leaving loving notes and seemingly silly reminders to asking you How do you want to die? What’s unsaid that wants to be spoken?

My world shrunken you are it we are it.

I owe my thanks to you for being a funny, wise sometimes grumpy sage for teaching me new skills for giving me new knowledge to pass forward for revealing the courage I have inside to ask bold questions to create a healing space to understand discomfort and awkwardness to laugh sardonically at our body’s vulnerabilities at our deathly ambivalence to realize life’s transitions as I mourn you and recreate myself.