Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Everyday Challenges bring Everyday Excitement

I’ve been my 87 year-old mother’s care-giver for the month of January and will continue to be for the first two weeks of February. Being a caregiver is 24/7. It is physically fatiguing, emotionally demanding and mentally draining. But surprisingly, I have found it to be spiritually breathtaking.

At times it brings tears to my eyes as I watch her aged body struggling to walk, gripping her walker for fear of falling, as she moves about, and I remember the mother who could run as fast as me when I was in trouble. I think my mother often felt physically fatigued, emotionally and mentally drained as she dealt with my tantrums, frowning face and stubborn attitude, and I applaud her patience.

We laugh when we talk about old age. We cry when we reminisce about my father. I will miss her when she returns to Ferron and back to my sister who is her real caregiver, yet I know I will feel the relief of not having to be on 24/7 watch.

Needless to say I haven’t had time to write or paint, and my incoming e-mail is stacked high. But I’ve had time to reflect on the fact that this experience may make me a better writer - a better artist - a better person. One who is more in tune with the creative side because of the depth of the feelings that stirs within me when I sit beside her and view life from her personal experiences. It’s an education you can’t get in a class because it’s and education of the heart. An education of love.

I leave you with this quote from Ray Bradbury. "Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for."