Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Caregiving Metaphysics FAMILY

They were children of the “Roaring 20’s”, then teenagers of the “Depression”. They were 19 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and World War II ushered them into adulthood. My Mom was a Jersey girl. My Dad was a city boy born and raised in Washington DC. ... 10 years ago, they died within 4 months of each other.

Do your parents or family have anything to do with your sense to “care” or to be a caregiver? The talking heads of psychobabble will certainly charge you money or sell you books to answer such questions.

My Mom was a career RN specializing in psychiatric nursing. My Dad’s career was in the “US intelligence community” retiring as Director of Security for the National Security Agency in 1981. As their first born, they were a loving and interesting team experimenting with parenting.

Retirement years didn’t quite play out as planned. My Mom suffered a stroke (a 1% - 3% chance) in intensive care while recovering from coratid artery surgery to reduce her stroke risk. Rehabilitation did buy her several more years before her abilities and health declined. My father became her home caregiver.

(The beginning of my own spousal home caregiving journey preceded this by a couple years.)

Even though diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost a half year prior to my Mom’s death, my Dad concealed his death sentence for as long as he could. Praying that he be allowed to live just enough longer than my Mom so that she would not be left alone.

Parents transfer values in a zillion indirect ways than they ever do in well intentioned “talks”.

Two years later my younger brother and only sibling died.

Those were challenging years by themselves. Yet caregiving is a trump card it prevails over anything else that happens.

Juggling spouse caregiving as Patti declined physically and mentally from MS and ‘basically’ single parenting our daughter through the Elementary School years kept me focused on ‘the living’.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer



  1. Patrick...that brought me to tears. what wonderful parents you had. You are such a wonderfu pewrson. His was a drill sargent and an acolholic and treats his mother as the same as his father does me...I should've seen ahead of time. She was drindled down from her own home to just one room too. now I have been too. You've made a wonderful point here. And very true.
    Thank you.

  2. Patrick,
    Thank you so much for sharing! I really needed to read this at this point... It's getting better... sometimes, easier... I can only imagine what you were experiencing at that time.  

  3.  My mother if she had lived would have been a caregiver, it was in her heart.  From the dozens of pets and wounded critters she tenderly cared for to the love she gave us.  Now my dear old dad!  Loser User.  


  4. ((((((((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))))))))It is nice to hear from you,I can see were you got your caregiving from,our father.I tink you are a wonderful caregiver.You are a wonderful person.I was just thinking,my boyfriend,He was a caregiver to His Dad,He had cancer and had alot of problems,drinking and smoking.Both His parents had cancer and are gone.His Brother just recently died a year ago.They werent close at all.I hope you ave a nice night.

  5. And now your daughter is learning the same from you. Your family values are deep and strong. You have risen to the challenge of your life with hope and dignity, sensitivity, and compassion. I pray the same is offered to you. In life, there are no guarantees, are there? It is why we (as caring people) should offer compassion and caring to others who are not our family because sometimes others don't have family nearby to take care of them. We should all start thinking of ourselves as a soon-to-be caregiver of a family, freind, or neighbor. bea

  6. Patrick you are a rock and I do believe you became a wonderful caregiver by your personality, love and example.  I'm sorry for your losses. XXOO



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