(Posted May 1 for April 26, 2011 A to Z)
I am a big believer in "Walk the Talk".
Actions speak louder than words.
Put your money where your mouth is.
Being a full time care giver for a declining elderly person is really a test of that idea. It is alot like raising a child (which I did twice), but raising children moves forward, builds, matures and creates an independent being. Care giving of an elderly person moves in the opposite direction. Backward steps occur frequently, forward progress (like in rehab), never return someone who is 85 to their previous level of function, but it does allow them to return to normal living ... a new normal for them.
And that is the challenge of "walking the talk" in this care giving role. Being able to accept the downward slope of progress, accepting the new normal for a loved one, and continuing to walk this path is hard. Heartbreaking at times.
But it is a debt I owe to the mother who raised me, who helped me survive in a dysfunctional family, and who had a hand in making me who I am today. She was far from perfect, but she lived in a situation that I could not tolerate - until she was widowed!
And when I come to the end of this walk, and begin another, I will have no regrets for my actions during this time. I will have done my very best to make her last years good and as healthy as possible.