FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /
How ‘bout you?
My friend Anita is a long-distance
caregiver for her father Harold.
Anita lives many states away and just
spent the week in town once again,
working to make sure that all is well
with Harold. Without going into
the specifics of Anita’s family
dynamics, suffice it to say that each
time she returns, she has her hands full
with Harold and her relatives who live
much closer, but do much less.
Back in high school, Anita was one of
the first vegetarians among my group of
friends. Whenever we went out to
dinner, her plate was always filled with
fresh and interesting looking foods—a
fact which, when I related to her, she
would say, “Okay. Now how ‘bout you?” I
knew she was referring to my own meal
which was piled equally high with
grains, fish and vegetables. (Okay,
maybe a large anchovy pizza and a
pitcher of beer weren’t her idea of
health food, but it met my definition.)
The challenge Anita faced with Harold’s
care during this latest trip home was
making sure that he was eating
nutritious meals, as opposed to grabbing
fast food with local family members.
I know that these repeated visits home
have been stressful for Anita; but at
the end of the day as she walked into my
house, I began to wonder just how much
stress she was facing. She came in
laden with grocery bags filled with
goodies from the local grocers.
Among the cookies and candies that
tumbled out of her bag were two cartons
of ice cream and four bags of chips.
She was on her way to breaking the first
rule of Fearless Caregiving—that caring
for yourself is job number one.
I couldn’t help myself as I turned to
her and asked, “Okay. Now how