Caretaking and the Holidays
It is hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner. I was thinking back to this time last year in my life and I remember being in full-on caregiving mode. The feelings of stress and anxiety were starting to build as I thought about how I was going to juggle taking care of my husband and still trying to make the holidays as normal as possible.
I think the first thing I had to realize, was that things were going to be different and that was okay. Cancer had caused us all to come out of our comfort zone already and the holidays were going to be no exception. We knew we would not be able to be a part of the many traditional activities that we had grown accustomed to around the holidays. We had to learn to say no and everyone was more than understanding with that.
Along the way, you may experience some feelings of guilt about not being able to accomplish everything. I know I did, but that guilt can easily rob you of the joy in the things that you are still able to do. Releasing that guilt will really lighten the load on you and those around you.
Even though my husband was very limited in ways he could help me, I kept him involved as much as possible.I wanted him to really feel like he was a part of everything. If your kids are old enough, recruit them to help with those things that require an extra set of hands. Work together!
Caretakers, I can’t encourage you enough to really try and pace yourselves during the holiday season, try not to take on more than you can handle. Make the choices that will work best for you, your family and your situation. I found it more important than ever to count my blessings, to be content for what I was able to achieve and to really just focus on precious time spent with my family.
Sadly, that was the last Christmas we would spend together. On Christmas Day, my beloved Nick was admitted to the hospital and was never able to return home. When I look back, it doesn’t seem to matter in the least, that every ornament didn’t hang on the tree, or that the Christmas cards never got sent out. What mattered most and what I cling to now are the lasting memories that we made together as a family.
“Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories”- Cathy Allen
Tammy’s story of “Learning to Live” during a life-changing battle has encouraged and reached so many already and can be found at: www.thebadidas.blogspot.com