November is National Family Caregivers Month and before this month ends, I would like to share with you a little bit about our family.
It was one humid night in March 2015 when I last heard my grandma speak. She spoke to me. She asked for ice cream but I lovingly said I can’t give her more because she can’t have too much sweets and I don’t want her to get sore throat. She smiled at me and didn’t say a word. A few hours later, we rushed her to the hospital and the doctor declared that she’s in coma. After saying our goodbyes and prayers, at the 24th hour, my grandma passed away. She died of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (bleeding in the space between the brain and the membrane that covers it) which is common among the elderly.
Two years before that, she had a mild stroke but because my grandma was mentally, psychologically, and spiritually strong, she recovered fast. From being bedridden, she was able to sit again. We tried helping her walk but she couldn’t. Even so, I never heard my grandma speak ill of her condition. She was a happy person and she thanked the Lord everyday for all the blessings in her life.
It was my grandma’s condition that made me realise the value of family. We aren’t rich and we didn’t have all the money needed to get a professional nurse for her. My sister is a nurse and another sister is a Med-Tech student so they taught everyone in the family how to properly care for her when they’re not around. I was fortunate to have understanding employers so I spent many days at home doing my job remotely. When I wasn’t in front of my laptop, I changed my grandma’s diapers, cleaned her nails, massaged her legs and feet. I was her personal nurse, physical therapist, and driver. They say my grandma was lucky to have us, her family, who cared for her and showered her with love. I say we were lucky to have her for bringing us into this world.
I’m encouraging everyone to become your family’s keeper/carer.
Filipinos are family oriented. In fact, our parents would allow us to stay with them at home until they’re ready to move to a place of our own. I wish us children and grandchildren would do the same for our parents not as an obligation but to give thanks and return the love they have given us. After all, we won’t be here if not for them.
You will feel at peace when you know you have done everything to make them happy while they’re still alive. Know that I’m pertaining to time and attention and not just financial support. They recover fast when they know their family is with them every step of the way because believe it or not, HAPPINESS HEALS. FAITH HEALS. LOVE CREATES MIRACLES.
Because I love my family so much, I’ll do everything in my power to care for them when they’re sick or when they’re too old to clean up their mess. I’d carry them with love and patience just like how they did when I was born. Family is a gift that lasts forever.
I salute all those who stand as caregivers to sick family members. I’m praying for you that God may bless you and allow you to carry out this task with love, patience, and strength.
Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land of the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12