In one of the breakout sessions at the conference, the question was asked, “What are some of the losses/struggles caregivers face?” This specific breakout group was for spouses who were now caregivers as well. Here’s what was said:
Loss of memories you share as a couple
Lost the person you married
Change in emotional commitment
Loss in sharing the decision making
A loss of dreams and goals for future
Family and friends acceptance-Lack of knowledge
Becoming a Burden (Injured spouse to spouse or caregiver to family and friends)
Friendships-some friends walk away from situation and lack of time to invest in friendships
Companionship-loss of spouse being attentive to our needs
Loss of self-What do I need? What things do I like?
Connection with your children
Communication-the heart of relationship (with spouse or friends)
As these heartfelt words were being spoken around the room, my heart was breaking. I was in agreement with all the things that have been lost, but more so because yes, a lot on this list has been lost for us, and yes, there have been many tears because of it, but I have the Holy Spirit so powerfully alive within me, that those losses don’t consume me. They’re reality, a sad reality, but I can continue to move on and not let Cale’s brain injury be what our life revolves around. I can (everyday) learn and try to focus on all that we still have in our marriage and as a couple. There is SO much! I am so thankful for how far Cale has come and for everything that he’s doing!! A lot of families don't get that. They go through life carrying the heavy burden all on themselves...
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you’ve already done.”
Since the conference didn’t have a ton that applied to me and Cale, yesterday during one of the sessions, I went outside in the really pretty area and relaxed. I think it may have been my favorite time of the whole thing! I was tired and had taken lots of notes, and that time that I had to just rest was so great! ! I had time to think about the last month that we’ve been home and the ups and downs it’s held. One of the things that really stood out to me was that there’s not any big things we’re dealing with as far as Cale that have made it such a hard month. He’s doing good and so are we in our marriage. It’s hard not having him understand things and not having him realize that we’re married and share a home, but for the most part everything is going ok. The overall not-so-great thing that has been making it so hard is that I’m tired. I’m going to work on fixing a couple things and see where it gets us! :)
Me getting to relax...SO nice!
Here's what the little tropical getaway was like!
Here is the video I was going to share…
I was missing Cale like crazy. I kept thinking about what he was doing and how thankful I am that I have him to go home to. Mama sent me a picture of him…my man is so adorable! :)
When I made it home, Cale gave me such a big hug! Then he and mama had me sit on the couch with my eyes closed. Cale kept making sure they really were closed. When he told me to open them, he handed me a heart shaped card that he had made for me that says,
I love you
Then, he handed me a pink jewelry box that he painted and decorated! When I had talked to Mama Thursday night, she told me Cale was working on something for me, but I wasn’t expecting that!! So sweet! He did really well on it too! Mama said, he did all the painting!
Making the card...
This morning after I let basil out, I crawled back in bed for a bit. Cale had this huge smile on his face the whole time. When I asked him why he was smiling so big, he said, “Because you’re next to me!”
This afternoon was the memorial service for Dan. It was hard to get through, but was also so special to listen to people remember him and how great of a man he was. I felt so sad for Janis. There’s nothing to say to make the pain easier for her.
If you think about it, please be praying for her and the family.
Cale just woke up from his nap, so we’re going to have some fun time together! :)