'Be anxious for nothing..." ~Philippians 4:6

Sunday, August 28, 2016

CAREGIVER DIARIES

I appreciate helpful, thoughtful people. Something as simple as remembering what my Dad likes and bringing it will make his day; change his demeanor. The church member who cuts the grass, the deacon who comes to cut his hair, the friend who brings fresh fruit when he visits a local farm, the family member who brought dinner represent how much thoughtfulness matters. I can count the consistent people on one hand. I think of the time when the front door of this house may as well have been a revolving one. These days, other than the ringing of the phone, it's quiet around here.

I imagine that many caregivers have stories of those who don't help, but they have an awful lot to say. They don't bother to care whether what they hear or say is even true, and show up every blue moon. I've learned that when you identify a persons motive and it's less than honorable, they will make themselves scarce; regroup and try again. Opportunists, like leopards, however, don't change their spots. I've also learned to have an answer when someone asks, "Is there anything I can do?"
I appreciate those who will take my dad out for a meal or a ride, even if I won't see them again for months. Caregivers don't poo poo on any degree of help, and appreciate a break no matter how brief.

Some people show up and their demeanor is that of an inspector or a supervisor. A few have been on matchmaking missions. They were the funniest of all. Young women, I've discovered, definitely do not have a monopoly on gold digging.

The occasional shade I encounter is no big deal now. It didn't used to be. I used to be offended by the attitudes of people who acted as if we shared DNA; who showed up like bullies and always had something sarcastic or snarky to say; who were big on opinions and lacking in effort. I know not to answer a fool, but I've learned when to speak up and it's rather liberating.

It's been 15 months now, and I used to be so bothered by those who knew there was a need, but for whatever reason, had an issue with me being here. It's funny how people who do absolutely nothing to assist you seem to launch the most intense interrogations about the things you do each day--things they don't witness. They don't know how anything gets done, but they seem to be mad that somehow, it gets done--without their help or direction.

The "Blue Mooners" show up with the intention to outshine you; upstage you; humiliate you; correct you; assess you; interrogate you. They show up to find fault and save the day. They find, however, that the day has already been saved and is being saved on a daily basis. Meals are prepared, housework is done, business is handled, appointments are made, meds are managed--all without their assistance. They don't find the dysfunction or disarray--or lazy bum they anticipated. They've been told there's a problem (or they want there to be a a problem) and they take it upon themselves to show up and handle it--and you. They act as if they plan to confront and reprimand a child. What they could do is wrap their imposing hands around a vacuum cleaner or rake, or cook a meal, or scrub a toilet, or fold laundry.) There's no kindness in their faces. They're armed with discrepancies and false impressions. Then, they see that there is no need for their concern or attitude. They're so flabbergasted by order and competence, that it leaves them speechless--and they disappear again.

The two people I encountered today were a perfect example. They were from the church. I'd never seen them before. They didn't even bother to share their names when I introduced myself and shook their hands. They looked at me as if they didn't expect anyone to be here! They stood around, looked around, and looked at each other, and stuttered. The woman looked at me as if I had three heads. The man seemed as rattled as the woman. It seemed as if they'd planned to stay, to do something, but they suddenly declined my dad's offer to sit down. Why would two people get out of their car, activate the alarm, come into the house and just stand? What was their initial plan? What did they have to say? What conversation had they planned to continue? What had they planned to ask for? They quickly left, with bewildered looks on their faces. I've seen those looks before. "I thought he (she or they) said_______?"; "Why did I (we, you, they) have to ___________?"; "Perhaps I (we, you, they) owe someone an apology."; "Why would ___________ lie?; "Maybe we should wait to ask when she's not there."; "Maybe we should find another sucker. This one has a caregiver."

No comments:

Post a Comment