Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Who takes care of the caretaker?

Its been slow here on the blogfront, mostly due to the fact that I cant seem to shake this stupid cold. Id be more worried, after a long 3-4 weeks of lingering coughs and sniffles, if it didnt seem that most everyone has this weird cold right now.

Its the first time Ive really been sick since Rick passed away, and to be perfectly honest, its kicking my ass. Much as I hate to admit it Ive actually had evenings when, after I got the kid and the dogs settled in for the night, Ive layed on the couch and cried, cursing the universe for taking away the person who always took care of me. Sure, I spent the last 10 months of Rick's life being his caretaker. But at least if I was feeling the slightest bit under the weather he was there to give me a kiss or a hug, even if it hurt to do it. He always had a smile for me. And sometimes thats all I needed.

Having my husband in my life was really the first time I stopped being a hard ass and actually let someone take care of me. It took some getting used to at first, and I certainly resisted a little bit. Ive been known to be stubborn. Fortunately Rick was persistent, and eventually I got used to letting him carry a little bit of the weight. We divided chores and household jobs. i allowed myself to rely on him. He knew how to do laundry, cook a wonderful meal, and could fix just about anything. I dont think I ever took any of this for granted, but after he died I was hit immediately with the gravity of just how much he had taken off my shoulders. I had to walk the dogs every time they needed to go out. The dishes wouldnt just disappear from the sink. And when I got sick, no one would make me a cup of tea or let me nap while they helped my son with his homework.

I suppose this is another in the list of "firsts" I have to figure out in my life after my husband's death. I think as parents or caretakers we forget sometimes how to take care of ourselves, or even remembering that we need to make a point of doing so.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true!! So true, Charissa. Like you, I've never been one to be "cared for". Jason wasn't either, and I had to practically fight my way into the caregiving role. But when I injured my back last December, he was right there by my side - despite the fact he was still recovering from a stem-cell transplant - to care for me. He would get my ice packs when I couldn't walk. He'd help me do my exercises. That was honestly one of my favorite moments in time with Jason...I was taking care of him and he was taking care of me. It was truly special.

    But last month, when my back pain started to relapse, I realized there was no one there to help me. I had to remind myself to do my exercises. I had to get my own ice packs. These are things I would've done for myself BEFORE I met Jason. So why is it so weird for me to do them myself now? I don't have the answer for that.

    Anyway, I hope you feel better soon. That nasty coughy/cold thing is going around here too. Remember, you can call or text me anytime you need an ear and a pseudo-shoulder to cry on. ((Big hugs))