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Rays of Sunshine
It's funny. Sometimes it seems as if
all there is, is caregiving. Caregiving and worrying.
Worrying about Dad's medications and his reactions to
them. Worrying about the finances and making every
dollar stretch. Worrying about his happiness and making
sure that we are doing everything possible to maintain
his quality of life. .
And sometimes the other life around me, the life that
has little to do with care giving, breaks through. That
other life tears those rain clouds like a ray of
sunshine with such clarity and hope, that it is
impossible to ignore. And I am blessed for these
Recently, I've been blessed with such a series of these
events, that it just makes me pause and smile for a
One such ray of sunshine was the evidence of love and
family my children display. I can look at each of them
with pride, knowing they are all fine people. I'm proud
to know them as individuals and as my children. I can't
even express the pride I felt the evening of April 8th.
The whole family spent the day hosting and staffing the
Sharing Wisdom Conference. I looked at each of their
exhausted faces at the end of the day, thinking to
myself, "these are my children!"
I can see the love of my sons for their nieces, and all
those silly clichés about the advantages and joys of
being a grandparent shoot bright and colorfully in my
mind. I can't help but laugh for the joy of it.
And my granddaughters! The eldest, Alexandrea, had her
Bat-Mitzvah this month. You will never see a grandparent
so proud or happy, (until Taryn becomes a Bat-Mitzvah)
as I was, as I am. And just when I thought, even with
Dad's illness, life is really worth living, and I am
blessed, Mr. Harvey Burke proposed marriage in middle of
the dance floor at Tayrn's reception, making life even
So here I am, as the song says, "walking on sunshine".
Yes, I was a caregiver for my late husband. And at the
time of his death, I could not see past the dark rain
around me. And yes, I immediately became caregiver to my
parents, and now, to just my father. But in the process,
I watched the creative genius of my son, Gary, create
this magazine to help me, to help all caregivers. I
watched my daughter raise another generation of
wonderful people. I watch my youngest son find success
as a prominent businessman in his field. I found the
gift of a second love, an offer to begin a new life with
a wonderful man, while not having to regret or abandon
my previous life.
Care giving is an act of love, but it can be filled with
the frustration, pain, exhaustion. It is also part of
life. And life is filled with joys, wonderment and new
exciting journeys as well as the frustration, pain and
exhaustion. Sometimes it's a matter of making ourselves
look around for the sunshine. Sometimes it a matter of
permitting ourselves to walk out into the sunshine when
we find it. I highly recommend taking that walk whenever
the opportunity presents itself.
Health and happiness to all of you.