Happy New Year, and Welcome to the first edition of the Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver newsletter! If someone told me January 1, 2022, the upcoming year would prove the most painful, impactful year of my life, I would have said, “you’re crazy.” But, this was the year of “I would have never…”
I would have never dreamed that one year later, I’d be writing a newsletter about caregiving nor sharing my excitement around launching our podcast. That we’d create a website, establish 5 social media sites, write blogs, offer training and speaking engagements, or work with businesses on developing caregiver benefits.
I would have never believed we’d face the greatest battle of our life – my husband Jason’s diagnosis with head and neck cancer and a move to New York City for treatment.
I would have never thought at the same time my sisters, JJ and Emilie, would move our mother, who’s been living with Parkinson’s for 20 years, to her third assisted living facility in April and then move her out of the same facility to live with Emilie in August. I would have never!
I would compare the last 12 months to riding the tallest, fastest roller coaster on earth. One that vertically propels you from zero to 70 in a matter of seconds only to briefly stop at the highest point to let you look over the edge before you start a stomach-wrenching drop followed by a series of inversions, zero-G rolls, a cobra roll, vertical loops, and corkscrews. And somehow, when you think it will never end and you might just die, you abruptly stop. You look around, dazed and confused, your hair is a mess, and you’re not sure you can make your legs move. But then you stand up, look at your loved one, and smile. Somehow better for it.
I believe in the power of motivational quotes. Phrases like “Don’t just go through it, grow through it” and “What if everything you’re going through is preparing you for what you asked for?”. But the one that drives every one of our actions is, “One day, you will tell your story about how you overcame what you went through, and it’ll be someone else’s survival guide.” That is our hope for you.
What can you expect from us? Through storytelling, guest interviews, and information sharing, we, along with our guests, discuss our shared caregiver experiences via the podcast. We believe viewers and listeners alike will relate to our reluctance, be affirmed in their ability to be caregivers, and gain the courage to confidently step out of the shadows to express their own needs. We want a safe place to relate, be inspired, learn, and laugh. We want you to leave empowered, be your most authentic selves, courageously confess truths without shame or fear of rejection, and ultimately live a happier, healthier life.
Whether you HAVE BEEN a caregiver, ARE a caregiver, or WILL be a caregiver, you are not alone. You will always be part of the sisterhood of care. We know your time is limited, and we are grateful for you spending it with us.