Spouse caregiver is never an exemption from the lives of others, whether parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend.
Even the label ‘spouse’ caregiver confounds. Why is caring any more about gender and marital status than it is about race or creed? If “blood is thicker than water”, then wouldn’t that make spouse caregiver ‘the weakest link’?
Seemingly infinite variables of those in need and those who give care fragment us into an abstract to those looking in. Finding a composite of a ‘spouse caregiver’ would be like the man below seeing a 'face' in the painting.
Perhaps intuitively, who knows? We caregivers somehow convert that abstract canvas into a collage of life.
In our story, I simply made it up as I went along. It has been a 19 year see-saw ride. Patti’s Multiple Sclerosis progression brought increasing dependence while raising our daughter as basically a single parent from 18 months to adult was about teaching independence.
We had to raise a daughter not only in a family living with a parent's progressive MS but also to live in the able bodied world. We carved out time to experience things WITH Mom and also carved out time to experience more able bodied adventures WITHOUT Mom.
One such able bodied tradition through the years has been hiking in Shenandoah National Park. I consider myself blessed that our now 21 yr old would still put up with Dad, and his antics, on a nostalgic respite overnighter in the mountains.
So what is this entry actually about? Or am I simply rambling? IMHO (in my humble opinion) “spouse” caregiver may be best explained by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, “Once you label me you negate me.”Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site: http://caregivinglyyours.com/
musings: Patrick Ponders ...