The Pause in Care Giving

Welcome to my blog, The Care Givers Ride, Journaling through the heart of the caregiver.

I wrote in my diary as a child, then as a young adult I filled the pages of decorative journals. All those adventures and emotions are now trashed. However, one batch of my scribbles remain, my book, The Unbreakable Cord, my account of my daughter’s car accident. At the time, the events were overwhelming, I isolated myself from my feelings and emotions. Using a stuffed dog, Woody, as my voice, I began journaling. I channeled all my fear through him. Writing my first book was like my years of caregiving— overwhelming. Someone told me, “You best do it as a fiction, no one will believe that many things can happen to one family.” It took fifteen years to transcribe my scribbles and share my emotions.

Different genres fill the writing field and the same is with caregiving. To the world, our life looks like a fiction movie. But, we live the suspense pages of our nonfiction book.

In this section of my blog I am using punctuate marks to ride through the caregiver’s heart. My ride as a my brother’s caregiver ended in 2014, however, the memories continue stirring within.

Punctuation guides the reader; when to speed up, slow down, when to stop and even what is around the corner. My first post reflected on the question mark. We all question ourselves and one common question runs through us all, “ Why me?”

Last week, the exclamation Point This can’t be happening to me! I don’t have time for this right now! It’s not fair! I can’t handle anymore. I can’t do this!” This week, is the more difficult of writing and caregiving—the comma.

I attended a small Texas school, and English wasn’t my favorite subject. I was terrified when I decided to share my private scribbles with the world. My world was full of question marks and exclamation points. However, it was the comma of both worlds that has been my enemy

When my daughter was fighting for her life in the intensive care unit, I wanted to be at her bedside constantly. However, the doctors knew the importance of slowing down, the pause was for my health. I know caregivers fear getting sick. One question haunts us, “Who will take over for me? “

Precise rules govern the use of the comma, when followed they lay the ground work for clear written communication. The doctors knew her story wasn’t going to be a short story, so, I followed their rules, and didn’t sleep by her bedside anymore.

And as in writing, I took the advice of an editor and paid to have my book edited. And wow, did she ever add commas. At each insertion, she gave the reason. Still too many for me to remember. But, the one rule for the comma I do know, is the pause. As caregivers we must pause , this is the groundwork for taking care of ourselves.

I hope you can find a minute to pause and journal the feelings within your heart; remember it is for your eyes only. For the list makers, use bulletin points to get the information out of your head onto paper. As funny as it sounds, writing does help, don’t worry about punctuations or spelling, just write from the heart.

Next week, I will share how I feel when my loved one pauses; I hope you will join me and share your “ride.”


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