Caregivers are by nature selfless, but you must include yourself in the circle of caring. Be your loved one's and your own best advocate, even if that means asking for help so you can restore and conserve energy.
Caring for an ill child or loved one is the most heart-filled journey you will ever take. We all hear what to do when life gives you lemons. But what about when life burns your house down and threatens to take away or change everything most meaningful to you? This is the journey of a parent/caregiver with an ill child.
The good news I wish for you is that you will be met by safety nets in many forms. Complete strangers will come to your aid in your darkest hour. Your faith in humanity and your awareness of source will be restored. You will know you are 1000 times stronger than you ever knew before.
Cancer is the two years after the curly blond imp
riding the red tricycle on the wood slat lagoon bridge
bump, bump, bump, back and forth.
The midnight freeway fly to children's hospital,
gasping to breathe and pale.
Cancer is the two years after sitting in our favorite field,
sneaking up behind to pour fistfuls of grass down my back,
giggling again, again.
The clumps of hair falling,
riding the IV pole down halls.
Barbie movie distraction, instead of our grassy field, our lagoon bridge.
Cancer is the two years after playful preschool friends,
trading one community for another,
the city where parents land with sick children suddenly
in the middle of the night, sharing stories and how the hell
did we arrive here?
Cancer is the place we went without choice,
tethered us to grief and grace,
changed who we are, no matter the gifts
health, freedom, time.
© Erin Waterman