Monday, April 9, 2012

How Can I Help?

A little over a year ago, my therapist mentioned a book called "Share the Care." This came up in conversations about my father's declining health and my mother's incredible commitment to advocating for and taking care of him. I was worried about him, of course, but was also worried about her.

I haven't purchased the book, but the premise is: You don't have to do it all alone. The person with the illness doesn't have to do it alone -- and people who care for loved ones don't have to do it alone. The best strategy for success is having a group of people who form a caregiving team. The link here explains this in a bit more detail.

I've been thinking about the "share the care" concept a lot lately, especially since my kidney disease has progressed and my energy level feels depleted. Friends and family members often ask "how can I help?" -- yet I've been reluctant to give a useful answer. I'm working on that. I'm trying to be more honest and authentic with how I'm feeling and what's in my best interest. That's why I offered to host Easter this year. It seems counterintuitive, I know. Isn't that just inviting stress? Maybe. But the last thing I wanted to do was travel. So I hatched a plan, worked ahead of time, and asked for help. And then, of course, my family helped in ways ranging from junk removal to room organization to sous chef work. They were amazing, and I am blessed to have such a great support team.

Remember gym class, when they used to pick teams? I never had a problem with this scenario, because I was either a captain who was doing the choosing or, if not, I was the first girl picked. A few of the females in my family had a different experience, though, and have expressed how they hated this aspect of gym class. It's nothing more than a bad memory to them.

So I want to say this to Lori, Danielle and Chris: I would pick you to be on my team any time -- and I would pick you again and again. You helped me so much this week and made it possible for me to be in my own home and not have to travel for Easter. Thank you for that.

Ray and Ethan helped with projects around the house, and Rob even did dishes. Jack-a-lacka!!

My mother helped just by her sheer presence. She is so strong and positive and always makes things easier for me. Patrick helped me by making me smile -- I'll always remember him jumping up and down when Avila hit the walk off HR. I didn't think he had "ups" like that. :) 

And then there's Grant. Like the junk guy said, "I didn't think they made 17 year olds like that anymore."

I realize how lucky I am.       


  1. And we are so lucky to have you! Best head chef in town!

  2. Many hands make light work, I believe this!! And you will never be alone, that is a promise