It was one year ago today that life changed for my parents, siblings and me. Because it was one year ago today that my dad had his brainstem stroke. Maybe it isn’t mentally healthy for me to revisit all those feelings and images of a year ago..answering that dreaded phone call, organizing flights to the states, walking into that ICU room, and of course seeing my dad on a respirator with tubes everywhere. And here it is, one year later already.
My dad was between life and death for months. And in the beginning of it all, one of the most difficult parts was seeing my mom’s face as her soul mate was so sick. My mom wouldn’t leave the hospital. She slept for a couple hours at night in the waiting room for the first week and was with my dad almost every moment. She is the greatest caregiver. Without her, I am sure my dad would have died… if not for his medical complications, it would have been for his lack of spirit. My mom was there and my dad knew he had something to live for.
Now, one year later, my mom is still there. My dad, is doing OK.. he regrets that he didn’t take better care of his health. He feels bad sometimes to be a burden on my mom and his kids even though he isn’t and we tell him that. But you can never turn back time. We have a lot to be thankful for during the past year. My dad’s mental state is very intact even if his physical state is not ideal. The experience has brought my family closer together. And personally, this past year has helped me to realize again and again that life is precious and every morning we wake up is a gift. No living with regrets or missed opportunities…breathing, laughing, crying, feeling..all of it is just gratefully LIVING.
All those caregivers out there- the spouses, the children, the siblings… for anyone who is taking care of someone who is dependent on them, BRAVO to you. You are a special bunch. But please, caregivers, don’t stop taking care of yourselves. What would my brothers and sister do if my wonderful mom has a health issue? Of course, we would “manage” but it is something I don’t want to think about. This article is in deep dedication to all those caregivers out there, in particular, my mom, who is just the best….WE LOVE YOU MOM! Now, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Please, if not for you…for all of us around that love you.