After my stepmother’s stroke, my father became primary caregiver, coordinating doctor appointments, filling prescriptions, grocery shopping, and cooking meals.
He often experienced caregiver burnout. I visited as much as possible, in the midst of a demanding sales job.
My stepmother passed away two years ago, a bittersweet ending to their thirty years together. He was devastated over her loss. “I miss not having anyone to talk to,” he told me.
I spent months helping him navigate the complex web of death. Months stretched into years. Never have I spent so much time with my parents.
Yet I still see them through the lens of a child.
Soon, my father will eighty-five. I’m thankful for our increased time together; for his new friends; for the lessons in caregiving he unwittingly shared with me – a blueprint for my own caregiving journey.