If you have not had the privilege to be a caregiver, the concept of Thanksgiving is a lovely one.
The true meaning of being thankful for everything has changed. The amazing pleasure we know from surviving a good day as a caregiver, and the relief we feel when a bad day is over brings a different “joy” to the meaning of Thanksgiving. Now, as a caregiver, this day is set aside to celebrate being thankful for the continuation of life.
To fully appreciate the enormity of gratitude is to walk in the life of a caregiver.
On this day, appreciate yourself. Your caree appreciates your unconditional love, and the many sacrifices you give freely. You love them in a way that introduces you to yourself, and shows you the true loving nature of your character.
Thanksgiving is one of our most cherished holidays if understood and celebrated in the spirit of its name. I contend that for caregivers, it morphs from a historical event to an introduction to the depth of our nervous systems.
On this day, if you are in the midst of being a caregiver warrior, or if you have lost your battle and are beginning the road of collecting your shattered pieces, really honor this day. You have walked in battle and understood the meaning of true thankfulness.
This is not to say that if you are fortunate enough to belong to a family that doesn’t have tragedy and struggle as its’ thread, you are not a truly thankful person, or have good reasons to be grateful for the love sitting around you. But as caregivers, we need to embrace the isolation and fear a caregiver walks.
Perhaps you will take this day, and understand that Caregiver Warrior is not just a title. It is a commission that you have been drafted into and have whole-heartedly accepted.
Until we have a day set aside to celebrate caregivers, I suggest you piggyback onto this holiday and celebrate not only the freedom this day represents, but how incredibly strong, loving, and selfless a caregiver is.
Happy Thankful Givers’ Day.
Prepare for the holidays– ask anything
Jean Wolfe Powers will be hosting a chat on TheCaregiverSpace.org to discuss finding joy this holiday season despite the stress of caregiving. Join your community in a live chat on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 8pm and connect with caregivers who understand.