I am amazed and humbled by people who do something great in their lives that positively affect and help others. I admire the courage and bravery it takes to make a positive difference in the world. These are the people who are courageous, caring and are fully committed to their cause.
But what of those who are quietly and kindly doing the hard and often unappreciated work of caring for a loved one? What of those who, day after day, do all the hard work to get the right help, medications, paperwork and all that goes with caring for a loved one?
These are unsung heroes and heroines who kindly and lovingly tend to an aged parent or autistic sibling or a Downs Syndrome child. They have taken on the care for their person, and they do most of the work to feed them, bathe them, comfort them, bring them their medications, hold their hands and listen to them.
If you should ask them how things are going, they will always say “fine.” They might have been up all night, caring for a mother’s upset stomach or nerves, but they still say “fine.” They can be frustrated and anxious and worry that they are not doing enough, but still they say that they are “fine.”
This is what courage, caring and committment is; the courage to face the truth and deal with it, the caring that is shown to a loved one and the committment they have to do the best that they can.
My sister-in-law (who is also my best friend) and I often talk about the mother-daughter bond that is unlike the mother-son bond. There is just something different and more heart-to-heart with mothers and daughters. It’s hard to explain, but it is a bond unlike no other.
From the moment we are born, our mothers nurture us, care for us and love us unconditionally. When we are adults and witness the slow decline of our mothers; those amazing women who had been our North Star for years—it is hard to see them grow old and decline.
Although she would probably not agree with me on this, my sister-in-law is the bravest, smartest and most loving person I know. She and her husband took her mother into their home seven years ago and have cared for her ever since. She has shown the best of what caring, courage and committment truly is.
I am proud and honored to be her friend and her sister-in-law.
Note to my sister-in-law: I hope that this post does not embarrass you. I hope that you know that you are doing angels’ work each day and each night. I hope that you know that you are my hero and always have been.