Over the past few years, I have been a caregiver. Most of the time that is something that I do for Sam: he needs a different kind of care than some other Veterans. Sam has TBI, so his memory is not what it once was. What might seem like constant nagging “did you take your meds?” or “do you have everything you need for work?” is part of our routine.
Key word, my friends. We keep a steady routine. As we’ve been doing since we started dating, making sure that we can adapt to various situations is also key. At times, Sam is in some serious pain from his back injuries. He might need a cane to get around, or he might just need to sit or lay down. At times he has limited mobility.
It took the term caregiver to sink in for me, let alone label myself a caregiver. I didn’t see myself as a caregiver for Sam because he can work, he can take care of himself pretty well, but there are times he just needs some help, a little assistance, and at times, maybe a few reminders.
Over the weekend I thought about that term, caregiver. I have accepted that role, my role, and accepted it not only when we started getting serious during the time we dated, but also accepted it the day we were married. I am a spouse who is also a caregiver. While that may differ from some other caregivers (or those who also care for their spouse), I now see myself as that caregiver.
I wrote a post about how we battle this post-deployment life together, and I am reminded of it after this weekend and I am also reminded of it because I am so thankful. I’m thankful for this life that I have with Sam and our children (and furry children). I’m thankful to go to bed every night and wake up every morning with my best friend in a home that might seem chaotic at times, but I know it is also a home filled with love.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. I know holidays are difficult for some, but I really do enjoy being able to spend time with friends, family, the food, the laughter, stories, it gets stressful, but I am also reminded of how blessed we are.