When I was in 5th grade, my teacher assigned the class to do an autobiography. My parents provided me with a shoebox of photos for me to look through to find the perfect pictures to tell the story of my 9 years of life. The entire project was about 10 pages and I needed a clever title to wow my teacher. At that time (1969), there was a movie in the theater titled “Rosemary’s’ Baby” but at 9 years old, I had no idea what it was about. I just thought it would be a snappy title since my Mom’s name was Rosemary, so I used the movie title for my autobiography.
When I turned in the assignment on my teacher’s desk, her face went pale. I didn’t quite understand the reaction. Later that day when I showed my parents, they had the same reaction – and again – I didn’t understand. It wasn’t until my older sister told me about the movie Rosemary’s baby and how Rosemary’s baby was the child of the Devil himself that I fully understood.
Where am I going with this?
I am certainly not claiming to be of the lineage of the Adversary – but I do want to share the somewhat “dark” side of caregiving. What you have seen thus far has been happy, joy-filled, adventurous and fun times on The Blessing Bike and with Rosemary – which encompasses about 75 percent of our time. The other 25 percent is not so pretty – it is the “dark side” of caregiving and all the feelings and emotions that accompany caring for someone in their final season of life.
However, it is in the “dark times” what we learn most about ourselves and can help others. It was in the dark times, that we found the Blessing Bike. It is about overcoming the small hurdles and the big hurdles such as the bouts of tears while you are sitting on the floor of the shower not knowing how you can go another day
My parents named me Jill Mary after the Virgin Mary, the woman every Catholic girl aspired to be like. I was dressed in blue for the first several years of my life to honor the Blessed Virgin and was raised to respect and honor my God and my family. I had big shoes to fill.
Most days, I think I fall smack dab in between good and evil in trying to do my very best while also struggling with all the emotions of helping your parent live their final days with joy and grace. I’m not a saint. I have many moments where I struggle.
A good friend reminded me that social media has a way of making people feel that everyone else’s lives are perfect which can make many people feel “less than” when they compare themselves to others. So, I was encouraged to not only share the wonderful adventures my mother and I experience on the bike, but I will also share the underbelly side of caregiving.
So…. Prepare for some raw moments – the good and the bad – on our blog on “Make it real” Wednesdays.
More to follow my friends……