I've discovered another gift of fibromyalgia. It seems as though I have more empathy and compassion for others. Not just those who are diagnosed with fibro or a chronic illness, but everyone. The more I am loving and compassionate to myself regarding my experiences in life, the more I am called to be there for others.
My wonderful Mom and amazing sister, both, have worked with Seniors throughout their careers. When I was younger, as a shy and scared kid, I was afraid of older people. I'm not sure why, but I connected with young children much easier. My education, experience and career was mostly with infants through third grade. Toddlers were my favorite.
During the last month, my Mother-in-law, who is a beautiful 71 year old woman, became very ill. Her body was failing her and she went from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility. My husband is an only child and he spends about 20 hours a week caring for his 87 year old father, who lives by himself two towns over. My Mother-in-law, I call her Ma, has lived on her own for 30 years and prides herself on her high level of independence. When it became clear that, between the diabetes and COPD, she may never be able to live independently again, she needed some support. I was called to step up and get over my weird fear and see what I could do to help.
Have you ever gently and cautiously leaned in a new direction in life and realized that you really
enjoyed the new direction? I've impressed myself. I had no idea that I'd be good at juggling...I mean managing all the doctors, nurses, social workers, medications, overseeing care, searching for long term care and being a consistent and nurturing support for Ma. She and I joke and laugh. We've cried over some of the changes and look forward to the new coming our way. Ma and I also have a pretty good agreement. When I need to care and nurture myself, I do just that. Sometimes it's a day of rest and sometimes it's many days in a row.
Now, don't get me wrong...It's not all rainbows and unicorns. I just choose to focus on the rainbows and unicorns because they bring me joy. The other stuff is a contrast that reminds me to move through with gratitude and to focus on the blessings.
Who knew I'd marry an amazing man in 2012 and have a great opportunity to get to know my Mother-in-law, so well, in 2013.
I'm growing every day and it feels wonderful to welcome this new growth and a new family member with open arms and an open heart!
Thank you for reading, forwarding and following!!!