As I matured and had my metal tested, I grew to find the gifts in giving of myself. My mother became very ill and lived with us as she waited for a lung transplant. The program was grueling, requiring her and her caregiver (me) to go into the city four days a week for a series of exercises, appointments and preparatory therapies. When we first started this journey I felt pretty darn proud of myself - bloated with self importance to be giving so much of myself to the cause.
But as the days passed and my devotion, stamina and patience were tested, I started to see the situation for the hot bed of opportunity that it was. I shared hours of dedicated talk time with my beloved Mom as we drove the 2 hour round trip and spent hours in countless medical waiting rooms. I was privy to her thoughts and private anxieties, as well as the benefactor of her theories, perspectives and philosophies on the mind-body-spirit connection, self actualization, how to pray and how to be the highest form of expression of one's self. She once told me, "This is important for you too Lyn. You are going to grow from this experience. You'll see." She knew what she was talking about.
I shifted my thinking from how this was impacting MY life, to this IS my life. Ever-changing schedules taught me to let go of that over which I had no control. Hours of waiting - for doctors, procedures, appointments - taught me patience. Witnessing her stoic, positive demeanor in the face of impending death inspired me to be grateful for my own health and the life I had created. Her appreciation for every breath of life taught me to cherish life that much more. Her attitude that there is always someone worse off than ourselves motivated me to want to be a better person. And in the end, she showed us that there are things worse than dying.
Needless to say I learned that it is an honour and a privilege to care for the ones we love; to give back a small fraction of the love and kindness that has been shown to me. And if we do it with our eyes and heart wide open, we can expect to forever changed, and blessed -- the ultimate care package.
Dedicated to MIH who always gives more than she gets.