Lately our daughters have expressed some heartwarming sentiments about family, community and our situation.
Our daughters remind me of two important things. One is that Cindy and I want our experience to benefit others. There are no more important others in our lives than our children. I mentioned in a previous post I made mistakes as a caregiver. I’m sure a few of you can sympathize when I confess I made even more mistakes as a parent. Yet our current situation provides lessons in compassion, responsibility and living well no matter the situation that atones for past parental mistakes.
Such atonement may seem like a blessing. Indeed, other caregivers have expressed their experience as being a blessing. I am glad that other caregivers find their experiences rewarding, no doubt confirming their own lessons in compassion, responsibility and living well. Yet our children provide a good reason why I would never, ever claim this to be blessing.
Call what happened to their Mom a blessing? Despite the fact she would never have wanted that for herself? Shall I say to my kids “It’s a good thing your Mom has Alzheimer’s for the great lessons and rewarding experience it provides!” I don’t think so. Unless Cindy would consider what happened a blessing for her I am not going to consider it a blessing for me.
I will go so far as to call what happened an opportunity; an opportunity for compassion, an opportunity for responsibility, an opportunity to live well under trying conditions, an opportunity for atonement. A blessing would be to have all these opportunities without a loved one contracting a disease she would never want. Yet while I would not call these opportunities a blessing, neither would I claim them to be a curse, with us the unfortunate victims.
Rather than dwelling on “What if?” I hope to learn and grow from what life deals us, which may be the most important lesson of all for our children.