Me & Aunt Josie helping me during a book signing
I was recently watching the show The Middle. In the show Frankie has to take care of her mother after a hospital stay. What ensues is a lot of humor and chaos (much like real life caregiving). After much frustration with her mother and lots of wearisome tears, her mother says “I’m so sorry you have to take care of me”, to which Frankie replies “it’s my privilege”. She then shares how when she was a new mother, her mother would always show up to help her manage her small children and when she would apologize for all of the chaos her mother would simply respond “It’s my privilege”.
And so, goes the circle of life….
So many times, as I’ve supported family members in need of care, I have forgotten that it is a privilege to take care of others and that those I have cared for have been people who have always shown up for me. I remember my Aunt Josie apologizing for having to rely on me so much, to which I would reply “if the roles were reversed, you would do it for me”. Which I know she would have and had in the past. About 10 years ago, I had a surgery which left me laid up at home for several weeks, my mom and aunt came over and made meals, tidied up my house and made sure I was taken care of during my recovery.
What the care recipients in my life failed to understand is that how they have shown up for me and those around them, is how I learned to show up for them and others in my life…by example. So, what are some takeaways?
Showing up to support and care for others is a choice
Taking care of those you love is a privilege
The way you show up for others is setting an example for those around you
Thank you for being the kind of person who shows up for others (even when it’s really hard).