Tag Archives: Valentines

Post-Valentines Reflections of a Caregiver.

Thirty years ago, Chris impressed me, too.  And I’m still impressed.

Valentine’s Day is special for me as a spousal caregiver. Because I know if I was looking after someone other than Chris?  Maybe I wouldn’t have the same attitude.

I feel a very deep concern for those who care for loved ones with dementia. It is not easy to get time away.  It is not so companionable to constantly be with their charges.  These caregivers face a much more challenging situation and my heart and admiration go out to them.

One woman told me how she fell ill and had to be hospitalized herself.  Her husband became violent with the substitute caregiver the agency sent.

Because I wouldn’t be there to serve him, she said.

I thought ‘serve’ was a revealing choice of words.  It would never occur to me to describe what I do for Chris as serving him.

I’m lucky—Chris is so good-natured.  If I put off making breakfast while I’m writing? He’s fine with it.

You might say, well what choice does he have?  Who will look after him if you don’t?  And you’d be right.  But a lot of men and women as their health deteriorates?  They get mean.  Spiteful.  Bitter.

I take pride in caring for him, just as all those years, he took pride in providing for and caring for me.

I”m lucky because he likes me to look after myself, even if it means an hour or so away from him—to see a friend, do a little shopping or go for a mani/pedi.

He exclaims with pleasure when I buy fresh cut flowers for the house.  A lot of husbands would consider it a waste of money.

Looking after Chris?  I’m glad I fell in love with him thirty years ago.  He faces his situation with courage and humour, and when he wraps me in his arms?  It’s still the best feeling in the world, Valentines Day and every day.

Yours truly, 

Margaret Jean.