Ch.227 I’m Grateful for All Those Who Care About Me
I’ve had three interactions this week that helped me feel connected and cared about by many people.
First, my wonderful neighbors Bobbie Jo and Mark invited me to share Thanksgiving with them and their children. “You are family,” Bobbie Jo told me, and I felt cherished.
Next, I attended a “Gala” at Azura, the memory care center where Pat resided, at which I am a volunteer liaison. Nicole, the Director, mentioned to the entire group that she and the staff greatly valued my presence there. I felt treasured.
And, today, I told Wendy, my grief support group co-facilitator, that I was just getting a CT scan; she texted me after the procedure to ask how I was doing and if something serious was going on. I felt supported.
I started to make a list of many of the people I know who care about me. I was going to write them here. But the list kept growing: friends, grief and memory loss group members, blog readers, family, Lions Clubbers, Azura staff and residents, neighbors, “gestalt group” trainees from programs Pat and I ran in the 2000’s, Pat’s family members who stay connected, and more. I feel blessed.
When Pat was living you could describe my mental life by drawing a circle with Pat and me in it, enclosed in a circle representing family, and a third outer circle representing all the other people who cared about me. Then Pat became ill, and I devoted my life to being her caregiver; our inner circle took up practically all my mental space. And when Pat died for a while mostly there was just an empty space, an unfilled circle at the center of my being.
I never realized just how much people cared for me and about me when Pat was living, and I was care-partnering. But now I am far more open to sensing that caring. And, in parallel, I am beginning to recognize how much people mean to me.
The visual model of my life has changed. Now I am at the center of a vast network of caring people, many of whom are also connected with each other. Each of these individuals is at the center of their own circle, and I am part of their circle of care. I may be the “sun” at the center of my solar system, but also I am part of a much larger galaxy of stars, all of us bound to a common center of gravity.
Thank you for being part of my life. For caring. Thank you for letting me be part of your life. For letting me care for you.