There should be a special place in heaven for caregivers. They are the strength behind the bruised, broken and dying. They go without sleeping, pass on eating, give and give, and cover us up in kindness and love. Sometimes they are the ones that have to push us until we cry to get us to do what we don’t want to do but what’s best for us. They give up their own wants and desires to make our hardest days a little easier. They rearrange pillows and blankets, fill up water bottles, dispense pills, run errands, do chores that aren’t normally theirs and take on everything just so we can rest a little easier as we heal.
The caregiver opens the door to family, friends, and strangers. They help shuffle them in and out in the beginning when everyone wants to know everything. But in the end as time drags on and on and treatment and surgeries remain a part of your life and the door no longer needs opened and closed to outsiders, it is the caregiver that never stops caring, never stops giving, and is always there.
I’m thankful for all those who’ve helped me fight the battle against cancer. We won! The cancer is gone. But I’m most thankful for my husband, Jonathan, my caretaker. He’s still here cleaning up from the fallout and the aftermath of the disease that destroys and changes a life more than those on the outside looking in can ever comprehend. And I pray you never have to either.
Sometimes it’s his smile. Just a simple smile that changes my entire day. It’s the willingness to cook for me even if I won’t eat it when it’s ready. The offer to sleep uncomfortably on the couch just so I know he’s nearby. To rub the cramps in my back even though his hands hurt and he just doesn’t like to do all that. The constant check-ins to ensure I have what I need or want. The special little surprises that only he could provide because only he knows those smallest of things will make me smile.
And most of all, he still loves me when the tears fall, when the darkness makes me silent, when the pain makes me whine, and when I’m frustrated by that which I have no control over right now.
When I first found out I had cancer, Jonathan told me he’d be here for me every step of the way. I’m so thankful he has been. I love you, Jon. Thank you!