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

Order from Finishing Line Press.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

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