As a caregiver, you should recognize the power of your power. Your personal force and creativity is evident in everything you do. Your willingness to continually dedicate your strength to those who need you has forever changed your life and the lives of those you love.
Through the frustrations and tears, your inner strength has helped you continue to give real care and perform countless thankless tasks.
You may find strength within your own thoughts or take it from an outside source. Remember always to keep your heart and your mind open and accept the support of others. Think about your capacity to provide care, and seek out the help you need to feel and stay strong.
Some people are blessed with parents who realize the enormous emotional and physical sacrifices that come with the role of ‘caregiver.’ To them, we offer this poem as another ‘thank you’ for their sacrifices.
But too many caregivers live with the hurt of giving their all without ever hearing a simple ‘thank you.’ That injustice ends here. For you, we offer these thoughts, which were surely in your parents’ hearts, as thanks for your hard work.
For all caregivers, we offer these sentiments and pay tribute to the positive difference you’ve made in so many lives.
“To My Caregiver
Have I thanked you for digging deep and being strong for another day? Maybe not, but I should. Because I know that without your strength, I might not have enough of my own.
Have I thanked you for hiding your fears and being brave for one more day? Probably not, but I should. Because I know that without your courage, I might give up and give in.
I’m sure I meant to thank you for looking past my illness to help me remember who I really am. You deserve my thanks. Because I know that without your memories, the ‘me’ that I was might disappear and leave just an old person in my place.
I know I meant to thank you for struggling each day to add my needs to your life’s plan. You deserve my thanks. Because I know that without your sacrifices, the world might forget me without a trace.
If I could give you one gift back as my thanks for everything, it would be this message: You’ve shown your colors to me and to the world. You have the colors of a true champion, a hero. Were you born with these colors? No. I think you earned them.
Whatever else happens as your life unfurls, you will have the strength and courage you need. Choose your own path. Believe in yourself. You have the power, insight, and wisdom to succeed.
For yours are the colors of a hero, a true champion, a caregiver.”
“I found my strength in the same type of water wings that helped me stay afloat when I was a child. When I didn’t think I could take another minute of arguing with doctors or insurance companies, or watching mom fade from a diagnosis called ‘failure to thrive,’ I went to the store and bought two pairs of water wings in the largest sizes I could find.
I put mom’s arm through one side and told her to stay afloat. I struggled into the other pair and we ate dinner wearing those water wings night after night, laughing at ourselves. Until those water wings, we had pretty much stopped laughing. A few weeks later, mom started feeling stronger.
Since the doctors never knew what was wrong with her, it was no surprise that they had no idea why she recovered. Mom and I know. For us, ‘failure to thrive’ means reaching a point when you can’t stay afloat any longer without someone and something to hold you up.’”
“When I was tired, exhausted, emotionally drained, I tried to remember to take a deep breath and suck it up, because, you know what? No matter how bad it got for me, and sometimes my situation felt pretty bleak, I had to remind myself that it was a bazillion times worse for mom.
I am so glad I made myself continue, because now, years later, I realize I got a lot out of caring for mom. It was hard to see it that way then, but looking back, I see how close we were. It was definitely a two way service we provided for each other. Recognizing that doesn’t erase all the trauma, but it does help me manage my feelings about giving up a relationship and the loss of opportunities for advancement in my career during all those years.”