Carers Week?

I am feeling fragile. So much so that I just cried…to a stranger…on the phone….as she tried to do a survey. {That’s one way to stop those pesky callers} You see she asked that question. I started cringing when she mentioned I might qualify for something-or-other. I didn’t listen. Because I never qualify. Ever. It may have been something I don’t care for at all but the point is I feel less when the question is asked. “Do you work?”

My heart tells me to scream …Yes, harder than you ever will. Politeness usually wins with a slightly miffed Not the way you mean. Today, as she carried on with the predictable “Do you have a partner who works?” I interrupted. Actually I am a carer. I have a severely disabled child. So that’s what we do around here. She stopped. She listened. And she surprised me. It is Carer’s Week and she had heard an interview on the radio. Again, not just heard but listened. “So do you get to do something nice this week?” Ahh no, there seems to be nothing on in my area. {Insert perplexed look as I ponder the caring, interested turn of conversation}.  “Well that’s a shame. It sounds like a tough gig. I don’t know if it helps but at least more people are aware of what you do because of those kind of interviews. And, I have kids, and I am thankful that they are healthy …I don’t know if that helps.” Cue blubbering. I managed to sniffle that it did help and thank her for being kind before hanging up and crying harder.

It IS a tough gig. Missy is trying a half day at school today following nearly three weeks of many seizures every day. I am so tired. Weary from the worry and the constant caring of her at home all of that time on the back of school holidays
{again…she was sick at the beginning of last term too!}. Yesterday afternoon was spent napping for her and on the phone for me. Chasing services, test results, quotes for new equipment. It is constant…and then some. Oh the irony when I look up the definition of “carer” out of interest to find Google wondering if I meant “career”…yeah, right. I am a career carer. It would be nice to have a luncheon or pamper session this week but I don’t really need nice. I need a well kid…I need a break…I need to be able to calm my constantly overworked brain…I need people to recognise and value the work of carers. Thank you call-centre-lady  for helping with one of those.


2 thoughts on “Carers Week?

  1. Funnily enough,.,.,. I was thinking of you as I drove one of mine to school yesterday, about how we value what people do and don’t do. I was thinking about all the brilliant people whose lives are changed in an instant in some cases and they become someone else entirely.
    I was picturing you in a classroom full of kids changing the world one kid at a time and then suddenly you were the whole world for another couple of kids… I honestly had this thought process at 8am yesterday morning.
    Some people can change and adapt, others can’t. Some can only do what they do with the adoration of many, others just do what they do.
    I hope you find some rest and some peace and maybe a little time for yourself, but I also have an inkling that apart from the medical crap…you wouldn’t change much about your lot in life.
    To quote Tom Hanks in the movie A League of Their Own… “It’s the hard that makes it good”

    Then I stumbled across this little story.. whether you believe or not doesn’t matter, its the sentiment that counts.

    You’re Not Home Yet

    An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years, and they were returning to New York City to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.

    No one paid much attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man.

    As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”

    “Dear, you shouldn’t feel that way,” his wife said.

    “I can’t help it; it doesn’t seem right.”

    When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President’s arrival, but no one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.

    That night, the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.”

    His wife replied, “Why don’t you go into the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?”

    A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?”

    “The Lord settled it with me,” he said. “I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put his hand on my shoulder and simply said, ‘But you’re not home yet!’”

    From Talking To My Father, by Ray Stedman. Barbour & Co. 1997.

    • Thank you Jools for sharing your lovely words and Rays. You are right. I would make life less painful for her…but wouldn’t change it for me. I hope this morning was peaceful…without me in your head 😉

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