Our last Christmas together…..One caregivers story

We knew it would be our last Christmas together. After almost 2 years of 24/7 care giving, I was fatigued – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Raging waters spiraled just below the surface of my calm outer persona and threatened what little control I had over my days as a care giver.

It was Christmas and I was clinging to the essence of the holidays that had always warmed my spirit.  And so, with all the strength I could pull together, the holidays proceeded as they always had – with family, food and faith – faith being the most important.  This faith was the cornerstone which guided me through days of cooking and baking so that my husband could partake in the things he was used to – recipes handed down from his mother, traditions that were generations old.  And we were blessed, our faith rewarded, because each and every moment was so sacred, so memorable, a real gift to treasure.

My husband was not strong enough to participate in the preparations, but he sat propped up in his chair giving directions, tasting and critiquing, sometimes with comments that tried our patience, but we laughed and teased – we knew it would be our last Christmas together.  We knew days like these would never come again.

And guess what?  There is not one of us – not a single one of us – who knows for sure that everyone we love will be with us next Christmas.  I ask you to be mindful of each and every precious moment; that  you live awake and aware of how fleeting the moments can be.  I ask that you choose the words you speak; that you become an inspirational speaker yourself, providing words of faith and encouragement to those you work with, live with, and with whom you interact over the holidays.

These are the sacred moments in time which create the memories to which you will cling when someone you love is not present next Christmas.  I know … (from Joyce Marie Sheldon)

About the Author:
Joyce is my friend and the founder of www.myjoytoday.com and a fellow care giver. She is the author of From Fear to Faith, A Caregiver’s Journey. Her personal experiences with The Power of Acceptance have led her to share her insight and to embrace her mission of inspiring and nurturing the spiritual well-being of others, especially those in the role of caregiver.  Joy shares her first-hand knowledge of mind, body, and spirit connection through moving and inspirational keynote speeches, workshops and special events. 
Thank you Joy, for all you do in helping others along their care giving journey.

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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