Today it has been a year since my mom passed away. My role as a caregiver came to an end after caring for my mother for almost 13 years.
What a beautiful journey we traveled together, a journey with the sole purpose:
To be together, as long as God allows it.
Sometimes it was quite a challenge and sometimes things went by themselves. I learned to build a dignified life for my mother despite physical limitations, with the starting point to maintain her self-respect and self-esteem.
When you’re a mom, you know what it’s like to take care of your little one. That little baby, which is your responsibility, needs you to be fed, changed, washed, and dressed, in fact, everything depends on you. You do everything, to take care of and cherish your little one with a lot of love and protect it with your life. In the same way, I lovingly cared for my mother, tried to provide for all her necessities of life with the most important thing in the world: Love, love, love!
I have no idea how and when I became my mother’s mother, but I gratefully accepted this role. It was a grateful task and I am very blessed to be able to care for my mother like that. If you ask me how I did it, there is only one answer that I was carried by my indisputable belief in the guidance of above!
I love her, she is my strength to keep going, she loved me, I was her strength and want to live.
There is nothing more beautiful than having your dear father or mother close to you. When it comes to loving being together, you are each other’s strength and setbacks are nothing.
That’s the Power of Love!
My Care-giving story
Care-giving is truly a job full of love, caring, kindness, compassion, gratitude, patience and you even can see the blessing in it.
It was time for action and very fast-thinking because everybody around me doctors and family were setting course to put her in a nursing home.
It all started with a severe stroke that paralyzed her one side and she couldn’t talk anymore due to a big form of aphasia. The doctors told me she will not live for more than three to six months. I am so grateful that I had read a book by Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now. Because of all the insights of that book I didn’t get stuck in self-pity. It was time for action and very fast-thinking because everybody around me doctors and family were setting course to put her in a nursing home. I was very aware of the fact, that the last call would be mine. But I needed to act fast. Something in me was resisting to follow what the doctors and my family saw as the only option. I knew I was being guided from within to do something else, for the first time in life I made a “deal” with my God, that I would walk and carry my mother but I needed His guidance and light on our path. They all called me crazy when I told them I would take my mom home to take care of her with the help of professional caretakers. They kept repeating to me for days “You are alone, you will not be able to do this, you are alone”. Again I stood there before my God raging in tears this time “I know I am not alone, I know what my mom learned me, but I really need You to give me some sign that I am on the right track here, otherwise she will go to the nursing home and even You will not be able to stop that!!”.
I accepted that my mom would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair or in bed.
My mom raised me with many beliefs, one was: “They who are alone in this world, God always have their back!” For me to take her home, it was important she needed to do things, days went by she wasn’t moving. Then, that very next day she regained her swallowing ability, in bed she also moved from one side to her other side, a nurse asked her something and she answered “yes” (The signs!! My heart was only saying, Thank You, Thank You!) Miracles do happen every day). Ready to move on and to take her home. I signed her up for a special nursing home, so she could get rehab for one year. I requested the caretakers of the nursing home to teach me everything there was to learn from a-z in that year regarding their expertise, so I could take care of my mom at home. I accepted that my mom would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair or in bed. Once home I started to train the teams of professional caretakers home (it was the world upside down). The aphasia was the biggest challenge. Guided by the speech-therapist and the occupational therapist, I also started to train my mom how to communicate and work with the caretakers, how to adapt a whole new lifestyle promising her she can have a beautiful life even with physical limitations. And she did.
Those three months became a journey of 13 years, which I never could have imagined, a true blessing. It was an amazing journey, everyday teaming up with the caretakers to make her happy. Every day filled with love, kindness, compassion, attention, patience, and lots of laughter (even in our darkest days). Realizing that every day was a gift, every day we made beautiful memories. It is for those memories which are carrying me daily in my today.
I had great learning points on: the greatest blessing in life is to learn to serve others, servant leadership, coaching, my strengths, EQ, the way of non-attachment, etc. Looking back at this year, talking to family, friends, the caretakers, our General Practitioner, and many friends here on this platform, answering an important question:
How are you holding up?” “I made my Gratitude so much bigger than my Grief.
Thank you for everyone who was part of our journey.
There is an Indian song, the title of that song is about Mothers. It says “Maa hai Mohabbat ka Naam, Maa ko Hazaron Salaam”
Meaning: The other name of Mother is Love, thousands of Salutes to that Mother.
Information about Care-giving
So many other sides of Care-giving
Every caregiver he or she has their own story of Care-giving. It all depends on the health of the person being cared of. I went through many challenges, struggles every day (especially as a 24/7 caregiver, taking care of my lovely mom with dementia, high fragile health issues and no-mobility of any kind), there was no time for self-care, due to the commitment of taking care of her needs. Experiencing no recognition, appreciation or understanding. Even having a support system caregivers experience loneliness because of a lack of deep understanding of why they do what they do. Answering questions like “You really have to think of yourself.” “Why don’t you place him/her in a nursing home?” Or “When are you going to place him/her in a nursing home?” This can be the moment that caregivers stop reaching out for help to anyone. I did also.
People mean it well, it comes from a good heart. But as a caregiver I could see the blessing and made it my purpose to take care of my loving mom to her last breath, I had a journey of their own.
Reaching out to Caregivers
Just knowing that other people care, means so much for a caregiver. Every caregiver has their own story, but they all highly appreciate recognition and understanding. Important to know when reaching out from kindness, so the caregiver gets some time to recharge and your kind offer gets kindly rejected. Don’t take it personally, please. Because the caregiver will always act accordingly to conform to the health and welfare of their loved one.
Maybe the person being cared for doesn’t accept care from others or maybe they are afraid of other people and it may have consequences for their health becoming upset. It all depends on the health of the person being cared of. Don’t stop reaching out, if needed, the caregiver always finds a solution to kindly accept your offer of kindness to help. Even the smallest gesture you make is always highly appreciated.