“Sometimes you just can’t ‘ go at it alone.’
The challenge is too much to bear…
There’s no easy way out.
…..so you turn to a rare and precious friend [partner/ caregiver]
Someone you trust …….ever standing in the winds to help, ….console and support.
Bottom line: …always there.
Arms extended…and you thank God
You have ‘ somebody to lean on.’
She who I lean on – Suzy Toronto
November is caregiver month as such I want to dedicate this piece to my husband and all the other unsung heroes who tirelessly give of themselves, their time, their love and their devotion to those of us who have chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s disease without whom our lives would not be as full.
They care for us so that we in turn can care for ourselves and others in our family and close knit group of friends so that we can continue to have the courage to be patient and research advocates for those that are not able to carry on the fight for themselves.
As people battling disease and sometimes barely able to care for ones self much less others, we may feel that we don’t have much money, time or energy to show our gratitude towards those that are our care partners. However, there is one thing we CAN do that will NOT cost a thing!
Most people would think of this as a trivial and ordinary thing that has little meaning.
But, I am here to tell you that it is quite the contrary!
Encouragement is actually quite precious because it is seldom given or offered despite the fact that it is free and cost nothing other than ones selflessness, thoughtfulness and a bit of creativity to make it unique to the person(s) who give us so much! So, that our lives could be better, sweeter, less painful, and less ordinary.
It requires your unique touch not your wallet.
Think of the best words of appreciation, support, love, encouragement, comfort or motivation the care partner needs to hear desperately from you.
Write a thank you card, a poem, a song, draw a picture, make a sculpture, or make a special dinner what ever comes from the heart to show your gratitude and to show your unique talents in a way to honor that person.
Remember, give lots of love first. The love you show and display will not only increase your face value by making it more radiant and attractive but also it will help to generate love in all those it touches.
Always express appreciation. The kind of gratitude you give is in your hands alone even if the service or care you receive cannot be controlled by you.
Encouragement has a lifetime warranty with an energy all of its own once it’s set in motion …a little word can make a huge difference in someone’s life and can be life changing….try it!
Be kind to the people that care for you (us) and avoid criticism …they are doing the very best they know how.
So don’t be stingy with your gratitude and appreciation this and every month (which also happens to be the month we give thanks for all our bounties and blessings…because things can always be worst).
Again write a letter, a sonnet, a limerick, or compose a song to show the gratitude and support for your loved one or care partner. If words don’t come easy and art is not entirely your thing you can still express your feelings with simple paper and crayons or even popsicle sticks. After all, us Parkinson people are so much more artistic thanks to our disease than before we had it and the creation of what ever you make can in itself be therapeutic for your soul and body!
It’s the little things that make a difference and without them both our lives and their lives would be so much more difficult.
So, thank you again to all the caregivers (partners) out there that give of yourselves 24/7( 31 as my husband says).
May God bless each and every one of you and keep up the good work!
You are not alone God loves you and I am here too if you ever wish to have a shoulder to lean on.
This month we celebrate you the caregiver (care partner) for all you do and we say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts…May God provide infinite blessings to you all!
“ so encourage each other and build each other up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NTL
Dr. M. De Leon is a movement disorder specialist on sabbatical, PPAC member and research advocate for PDF (Parkinson’s Disease Foundation); Texas State Assistant Director for PAN (Parkinson’s Action Network). You can learn more about her work at http://www.facebook.com/defeatparkinsons101 you can also learn more about Parkinson’s disease at www.pdf.org or at www.wemove.org; http://www.aan.org, http://www.defeatparkinsons.blogspot.com
may also contact me at