Caregiving can be a messy business, requiring the caregiver to deal with situations that can be at least uncomfortable if not totally humiliating for our loved ones. I wrote a lot about my Aunt Fay in my memoir, not only because she is a very interesting woman but also because she has many years of caregiving experience from which to draw. In one of our many conversations on the subject, she said that caregivers must also be grace givers. She explained that, as caregivers, we should extend grace in the way we handle uncomfortable situations, handling them in a way that avoids embarrassing our loved ones.
I’ve heard poise described as grace under pressure, and that is a great explanation of what she was talking about. Giving grace means washing the bed linens as often as necessary without calling attention to the stains. It means offering a smile and a reassuring hug before cleaning up the broken bowl from the kitchen floor. It means patiently explaining again, and again, and again. When giving grace becomes a way of life, the lives of both the one needing care and the one giving it are nourished.
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About the book:
Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.
Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.