I subscribe to a podcast from The Writer's Almanac, featuring Garrison Keillor, and sponsored by the Poetry Foundation in the US. I love to listen to it while I walk...or on these bitterly cold, snowy days, while I knit. Tonight I was catching up. My listening included this gem, from January 9, 2011 -- the poem for the day by Gary Johnson, which contained these lines:
"...Like the home caregiver who comes daily at eight
a.m. to wash and dress the man in the wheelchair
and bring him meals and put him to bed at night
for minimum wage and stroke his pale brown hair.
He needs you. "Are you all right?" "I'm all right."
he says. He needs you to give him these good days,
you good worker. God's own angels sing your praise."
We had a home caregiver once -- actually, more than one -- over the years of the Lost Decade...A, who is now a student in central Ontario was one of the more memorable ones...and S, for the last two years...She did just that: came by 8 a.m., three days a week, to get H ready for his day at the hospital: physio (perhaps) and dialysis (always). That last day she knew he wasn't himself...he didn't enjoy her eggs as he usually did. But he needed her then...as did I. And neither ever minded that I was there, but not doing her work. They each understood. May God's angels continue to sing their praise!
yes. I sing their praise
How timely. I was thinking about Dad and "A" the other day. At -30, I try to seat-belt children into my car swiftly, and I all but drag their little legs along to school as we try to hurry into the warmth of the building.
When we had Grandma's memorial service, it was at LEAST -30. Dad, J, A, and myself all came to the church in Norm. Upon arrival, we had a plan of attack. The able-bodied exited the car in unison and swiftly closed all the doors so Dad would stay warm while we hauled the wheelchair (disassembled) from the trunk.
Three people have never put together a wheelchair and loaded its 'cargo' so fast!
Good caregivers find themselves as professionals and simultaneously as part of the family for which they are working. And it's a beautiful dance.
* * *
...And thanks for sharing about the eggs. I didn't know.
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