crocuses bloom on a hillside at sunrise

 

The subject of gratitude comes up frequently during conversations in my writer’s group for caregivers. Life has frayed us all around the edges, but we understand that each day is a gift, even if we want to exchange it now and then for something a little less ragged.

Occasionally, the topic comes up against the backdrop of the latest conflict here or abroad and other times it comes on the heels of a bad scare while caring for a loved one who is ill or aging. But after shaking our heads and finding terra firma once again, we release those frightening moments for just a little while, and instead talk about some of the things we are grateful for – having a mother who is still going strong at 90 and beyond; finally getting one good night’s sleep; still being able to laugh at the absurdities of life; or being able to carve two hours out of the month to share our writing with each other.

When I watch the this video by Brother David Steindal-Rast, I always come away with a deep sense of appreciation for all I have, especially the friendship of these amazing women who face their caregiving challenges with such grace and good humor.

Because of them, I’m reminded of the quote by Meister Eckhart, “If the only prayer you ever say is “thank you” that will be enough.

Written by Judith Henry
When Judith’s parents became ill in 2007, even her reputation as a pragmatist, planner, and dutiful daughter (her father’s term) couldn’t prepare her for what lay ahead – a long list of concerns that included navigating an unfamiliar healthcare system, addressing financial and legal issues, dealing with stress, unexpected family dynamics, and ultimately making hospice arrangements. That experience led her to write, The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide to Caregiving, part intimate recollection and part down-to-earth advice. Loaded with humor and not a few tears, it's geared towards adult children who find themselves taking on more responsibility for an aging parent’s well-being. Judith also speaks on a variety of topics, including caring for older adults; dealing with grief and loss; the benefits of expressive writing for caregivers. Her presentations and workshops are appropriate for a wide range of businesses and organizations including civic associations, writer’s groups, women’s centers, health maintenance and healthcare facilities. Described as a warm and engaging speaker, Judith excels at connecting with an audience through humor, personal knowledge and experience. She can be reached through www.JudithDHenry.com

Related Articles

Monster-in-Residency

Monster-in-Residency

When Carolita Johnson became a live-in caretaker for her 87-year-old mother, reimagining this new life as a multi-year writing residency helped her...

Being a Human Being

Being a Human Being

"Many of us are programmed to take action. We want to fix. We want to solve. And we take pride in fixing and solving. But sometimes there is nothing...

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.