I decided to take another email course from Writing Bliss. This one is called Inner Journey. It explores how one uses his or her feelings and intuition to navigate in this world of ours. Each assignment has five questions for me to select from. Yes, that’s right. I don’t have to answer all of them, just one of my choosing.
Although this first lesson has the title, Meaning At Any Given Moment, what I read in this assignment has more to do with how a person perceives the idea of responsibility and how he or she reacts to it. Why Shery gave it this odd title is beyond me.
“A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how”.” — Viktor Frankl
Explore one of your responsibilities toward another person and how you are bearing it.
One of the many responsibilities of being a wife is to be a caregiver. When first married, this one obligation may seem easy. After all, both are adults who handle tasks individually all day long. Neither one probably gives any thought to what may be down this road of marriage in ten years, or even in as little as five years.
When I first married Hubby, I had one son and he had one daughter. In many ways, caring for these children in our separate lives made the responsibility of caregiver to each other a little easier. After all, the tasks at hand are usually the same for the most part whether you have one, two, or three to take care of.
At least that’s what I thought at the first of our marriage. Moreover, it was pretty much that way for about six years. Things have to change as they always do though. My son moved out to be on his own as an adult. Hubby’s daughter decided to spend a few years with her mother before she went on to college. This was also the time when Hubby started to have some health problems.
My role as a caregiver for him changed. My tasks in this field became more necessary rather than optional. With degenerative disk disease, the role continues, becoming a task of everyday living. Being the caregiver does necessarily mean feeding, clothing and bath giving either.
I find myself in a role I used to play with my son in which I have to pull and push Hubby to make him do what he should in order for him to stay mobile for as long as he can. I can’t show fear or pity. I must be strong and sometimes overbearing. I don’t like being the ‘bad guy’, but if Hubby is going to be mobile and, therefore, happier, I must be mean.
How am I Bearing It?
I’ve been doing the ‘bad guy’ bit for over fifteen years now. It does get easier as time goes on. This was not something I was expecting but am relieved that it’s turned out that way.
Hubby is still vertical, walking, and is still working so I guess my responsibility as a caregiver is working okay. I know that there will come a time when this role will alter again and he will need the basic care. Because of my own disability, we’ll have to find the help for this through an agency of some sort.
Marriage is more complicated than anyone can imagine until they’ve been through it a while.
- 17 Reasons Why Caregiving Makes You Awesome (caregiving.com)
- The Depressed Family Caregiver (monarcaresblog.com)
- 7 Ways To Transform Caregiving From Burden To Opportunity (forbes.com)