posted by Mary Lello, Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 12:13 PM
I may be dating myself here but remember the song that went "take good care of my baaaby ..... " ?
I realize this is how I am feeling now as all the different drivers and care takers are stepping in to care for Jim when I have to go to work, run errands or just get myself outside for some excercise and 'free' time. We are entering another new phase and losing another group of 'live in' care takers as Greg and Roseanne prepare to go back to Colorado.
Greg put out a great list to all of you as to what you might need to think about. I agree with so much of it. This whole experience does bring up a lot of things for people. The good with the bad. It's important to stay honest with what ever might come up. It's also important to leave some of it at the door. Jim is fighting for his life and I am on this path with him. So there isn't much room here for a lot of other stuff.
My close friends have always told me how I can be "brutally honest". I would hear "gee Mary, tell us what you really think" type jokes. Well, if you thought I was cut-to-the-chase-honest before you ain't seen nothing yet!! And my first and foremost concern is that Jim is well cared for. Each of you must come prepared to make Jim your priority while you are here with us. To be part of "the pride of lions". This may mean asking some people to leave if they are over staying their welcome or just zapping too much of Jim's energy. It may mean suggesting to Jim it's time to nap. It will mean being vigilant about his safety when he is up and moving and to not always share with him your history or another's story about sickness and illness. It's not always helpful to hear.
I know I am the best advocate for Jim regarding his health care now. But when I walk into my office I am an advocate for the person who has come to me for healing. So what I need the most from the care takers who are left with Jim is knowing that the person there is now doing my job. I can't worry about Jim when I leave the house. I don't have the luxury of not being able to work. And the work I do requires that I leave all my stuff at the door and be 100% present for the person on my table. In order for me to do this I need to be able to feel confident that all is well at home. That the people there are advocating for JIm and if anything goes wrong they will call my cell phone and let me know. This is very important.
So humor me here as I'm sure as you read this you are thinking "of course Mary", but I just need to say all this. And I do know that each and every one of you who has signed on has done this because you love Jim also and you WILL be there for him .... and therefore you are there for me too.
There really are no thank you's big enough for this. So just know that Jim and I truly appreciate all that is offered, all the love that is offered with each cooked dish that you bring, each phone call or email or card that you send, and how so many of you have signed on to just show up .... and you are indeed showing up!
So, take good care of my baby, don't ever, ever let him go ....
Thank you all - from the bottom of my heart, thank you,