Blessed Are the Caregivers

Being a family caregiver is a job like no other. Unlike nurses, policemen, and factory workers, caregivers don’t go home at the end of the day. Except for times when they can get respite care, they’re always on the job, meeting their loved ones’ needs, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

I was a family caregiver for seven years so I should know. I feel blessed to have met and married Bill. Although caring for him wasn’t easy, I couldn’t walk away after he suffered his first stroke. Alice’s poem offers encouragement to others in this position.

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Blessed Are the Caregivers

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

(This poem is dedicated to my dad who was my mother’s caregiver,

as well as to all other caregivers.)

In the midst of the seasons of life,

too often in the months of hard winter

comes an extraordinary season of giving,

of caregiving,

of giving care,

of giving and giving,

the 24/7 kind of giving–

giving until exhaustion overwhelms love,

giving until a weariness overshadows the spirit–

then, finding that the heart has even more to give

because of a belief in duty and love,

because of promises and prayers.

Blessed are these caregivers.

Surely, they will be given uncommon strength

through the touch

of an angel’s

wing.

Blessed are the caregivers,

for they will inherit the gentle grace of God.

Blessed are these caregivers,

and bless those who receive their care and love.

With gratitude to and admiration of all caregivers,

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formidable

In Belgium, a teen-aged boy

with a rare form of autism

can’t see or smell but sings French songs,

accompanies himself on the piano.

During a radio interview,

his parents say he taught himself.

Cheerful, optimistic, in halting English,

he says he wants to be a singer.

Formidable, his music tears my heart.

From That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

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Finding Your Authentic Self

This post is something to which I can relate. I’ve always tried to be myself and not what others think I should be.

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Everyone spends a lot of time copying the people around them instead of finding their own authentic voice. It doesn’t matter what you hope to do in life just as long as you are being you. This topic jumps around in my head a lot because in the blogging world everyone is trying to be like everyone else. I can admit I see the other bloggers posting photos of fancy smoothies then I think “oh I must post trendy smoothie pictures” Then after reading numerous articles on authenticty and finding your own voice I realised that just because one blogger is famous for their health smoothies and fitness doesn’t mean you have to do everything like them. Ask yourself what makes you happy? Are you a clean freak who obsesses over baking? Are you a sales maniac Type A personality? Whatever you are be that. Eat, sleep and breathe it…

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A Hard Habit to Break

I never liked the taste of coffee. I always thought it was bitter. The funny thing is that on the few occasions I tried coffee flavored ice cream, I found it delicious. I considered trying one of those fancy coffee drinks at Starbucks or some other such location but didn’t want to spend a lot of money for something I wouldn’t enjoy. I love the smell of coffee, though, and some of the flavors such as Swiss mocha or French vanilla sound heavenly.

My brother in Florida loves coffee and can’t live without it. Recently, he told me he started one of those twenty-eight day diets where you give up everything: pasta, bread, alcohol, even coffee. I shouldn’t have been surprised when he said he still drinks it. This turn of events inspired me to write the following acrostic poem in which each consecutive line spells the word “coffee.” I can’t blame people for not wanting to give this up. I feel the same way about Dr. Pepper, and if I don’t have my mid or late afternoon can, I’m not worth much for the rest of the day.

Coffee

Chained to a cup of aromatic but bitter brew,

old and young men and women live

for that morning pick-me-up,

freshly roasted, harvested from beans.

Even in Florida, naked, inebriated, they find

energy in coffee but not for me.

Do you drink coffee? Would you give it up, even if it was for just twenty-eight days?

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

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Concealed Cane

When not in use,

it’s folded, tucked under my arm

or stuffed in a back pack.

When I step outside,

I pull free the nylon holding it together.

It unfolds, clicks into place.

I walk away, ready to face adversity.

From That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

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Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

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What Can I Do To Help

This is the story of one person who helped another. If more people did this, the world would be a nicer place.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
February 5, 2005

I helped a lady today. I saw her get up from where she was sitting and struggle to walk. She was heading towards the supermarket where I was with my trolley and my youngest son. Seeing her made me stop. It made me realize how grateful I am to have my mobility and health.

Seeing her struggle to walk I wanted to help but didn’t know how. What can I do? I thought. I had no idea, so I asked her. I went up to her and said ‘Can I help you in any way?. Her whole face lit up. Someone cared. She asked me if I could get her a trolley and bring it to her which I did and she was ever so grateful. Couldn’t stop thanking me.

I wanted to do more and would have done her whole shop for her if…

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Sick of Winter

Spring can come any time as far as I’m concerned. I’m tired of looking at snow, feeling arctic air on my face, and walking like a little old lady over ice to keep from ending up horizontal. I live on a side street built into a hill. In order to get anywhere on foot, I have to ascend and descend an incline. Sidewalks aren’t always shoveled, and the street is a mess because the city only bothers to plow main thoroughfares. This makes walking out of the question so since I don’t drive because of my visual impairment, I must depend on the Minibus and friends for transportation during this time of year.

I could move to Florida to be closer to my brother, but it’s miserably hot and muggy during the summer, as I discovered last year when I attended his wedding in July. Besides, my house is paid for, and relocating would be a big hassle. I’ve grown attached to Sheridan, despite its idiosyncrasies, so I’ll stay put and complain about winter in Wyoming.

AN ELEMENT OF WHITE

I knew it was coming,

but silent, unwelcome,

it crept into my awareness.

When I looked out the window,

It was everywhere, the sidewalk,

grass, street all covered in milky white.

Unexpected, unwanted, there it was.

I couldn’t make it go away.

From That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

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Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

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