The Caregiver

caregiver

 

 
I worked in two different nursing homes during age16 through 22 and they both left many lasting impressions on me. I started out in the kitchen but quickly found myself on the floor flirting with the nurses and the aides, which earned me jobs like vacuuming and helping wherever. I did any shit work the nurses could find for me, like helping with enema’s. That wasn’t the end of the shit either. I was given caretaker charge of a man confined to a wheelchair who had a severe stroke. Bathed him, shaved him, and dressed him. He was young enough to be embarrassed having female aides do the chores so I became the best part of his morning when I worked that shift.

 
Archaic living statues
Wearing ancient masks
Reflective and forlorn
Performing aimless tasks
Not conscious of the world
But conscious of their fate
They have nothing to do
So they wait
Its all they do
All night, all day
Its all they have left
Even the memories begin to fade
The tears they paid
So they wait
They wait for me
The caregiver
For sustenance
For medication
They praise my dedication
All they have left is to wait
To be told what to do
They wait for me, caregiver
The one who holds their heart together
Informs them of the weather
They wait for me forever
Sometimes I come in the morn
Wake them from their sleeps
Change the wet sheets
Dress them for the day
Give them their pills
Chase their blues away
The way in which we planned
Breakfast tray in hand
Sometimes I come in the afternoon
Put on their favorite show
Just let them know
Someone cares
Then I wait to go home
To a life so removed
From the pain and the heartache
Of the aging machine
The horrors I’ve seen
Time can be so mean
Memories broken like in a dream
These grand folks I cherished
I watch as they perish
But each day I come back for a little while
Covering profound sadness with a smile
Knowing what’s on their minds
Though they really can’t define
They just wait
But its not the food, medicine or even me they sit in anticipation of
They’re waiting to die
And that makes me cry

 

The nurses told us not to get emotionally attached to the patients but we had so many favorites, cute old people who were left up to our care because fore the most part their families abandoned them. I was struck by how much they looked forward to our shifts as though they were visits, how we brightened what little life still sparkled behind their eyes, and I realized we were more than caretakers of their health, we were caretakers of their hearts. Ironically they in turn helped to fill our hearts up with love and gratitude. It was like having 20 of my grandma’s back, and I would give anything for just one more day with my Grandma. I would be happy to be her caregiver.

An Arrow Escape (Finding Humanity in an inhumane world)

susan

Paying it Forward To Mother Earth
J.T. Hilltop

There is so much bullshit going on in our world these days, citizens taking aim at governments, world economies collapsing or in danger, Typhoons, hurricanes and tornadoes ravaging the earth, random shootings and mass killings around the world, its no wonder the news seems perpetually loaded down with either bad or worse news. A time of year we like to reserve for sharing and caring can become compromised by stories focusing on the dark side of our humanity. Social media adds fuel to the fire turning one time friends into mortal enemies over politics and religion. But politics and religion are beliefs, concepts, that are dissected, analyzed repackaged and force fed to us through various forms of media. We are constantly bombarded with sex, violence, racism, sexism, politics, and religion in negative ways. Its a wonder we haven’t collapsed ourselves under the weight of hypocrisy and injustice. I’m tired of the same old negative bullshit so I’m taking a break from my normal dry sarcastic warped view of the world to tell a feel good story. Nobody dies, nobody gets molested, no bombs or sex scandals, and no untruths slung around to discredit anyone‘s character. Not this time. This is my Hallmark Moment Story. Not the clever funny Hallmark moment, but the cute kittens, the lion and lamb together all too cute puppy licking baby to make you say awwww moment. And its just in time for Festivus. An to top it all off it has a happy Festivus miracle ending.
This story is a story of two of natures beautiful souls, on a helpless animal in distress and the other a caring humane woman who just may restore some faith in our species. The story of Susan Darrah, a compassionate player in the game of life and her odyssey she called “Saving Steve Martin”. A tale of paying it forward in the noblest of causes, the cause of humanity. Paying it forward because she felt a need to right a wrong created by a human being who carelessly shot an arrow into a helpless deer leaving it to fend for itself with that arrow stuck through its face. If I could I would apologize to Mother Earth for allowing such a horrendous act to have happened to one of her innocent creatures. I would then beg her not to judge us by the careless act of the shooter, but by the act of kindness and compassion that followed.
Susan Darrah spotted this wounded deer on her property in Rockaway New Jersey, a natures paradise of beauty and an area rich in wildlife. So rich with wildlife in fact that Ms. Darrah refers to the land as her “Susanghetti.” . The Susanghetti is home to bears, deer, fox, raccoons, skunk, possum and assorted birds, as well as 5 feral cats, 2 alpaca, an Afghan Hound, and 2 goats to help round it out. it’s a remarkable patch of nature overflowing with life being lived as its meant to. The philosophy of wildlife is simple, survive and multiply. Take advantage of what Mother Earth offers but leave some for the next critter. But that one day Susan spotted a young deer that had overlooked another important wildlife philosophy. Watch out for humans. For whatever reason someone had shot an arrow into the deer. Maybe an accident, maybe a hunter who chose not to follow through by tracking its wounded prey, hopefully not as a prank but an anomaly in the lifescape of Susanghetti to be sure. Proving not all of us are careless or lacking compassion Susan’s human instincts kicked in prompting her to act.
The first thing she did was to photograph the deer she lovingly named Steve Martin, who is famous for his arrow through the head routine among many other comical moments. Her hope was to bring as much attention as possible to deer Steve’s plight. She posted the picture on Facebook and developed a ring of compassionate people following the debacle. Susan gave us daily updates as all of her facebook friends watched helplessly hoping she would have good news one day. She placed calls to anyone and everyone who would listen until finally she made a connection with New Jersey Fish and Wildlife.
With Susan’s cooperation they set up outside the Susanghetti with a plan of rescue. After staking out for two days everyone’s luck changed and Little Steve Martin returned for some eats which Susan supplies. From a window inside a marksman from the New Jersey Fish And Wildlife shot a tranquilizer at Little Steve and successfully sedated him. They remove the arrow which fortunately was a screw point and applied anti-biotic. Once Steve woke up they released him back into the wilds of the Susanghetti. Susan has spotted him a few times coming to feed in the Susanghetti where she leaves food for all her extended family of nature. Little Steve Martin was saved!
I’ve viewed many stories related to the holiday season. People beating each other up over parking spots, trampling each other on black Friday, theft, shots fired at malls, people complaining about prices, and even fights over whether to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. That’s why this story is such an important story to me, because Susan’s actions define the reason of the season so much better than all the bullshit flashed over the media. So go ahead and enjoy whatever you chose to celebrate, and don’t focus on what you want or what you need to get someone, focus on following the example of a caring and compassionate human being who put a helpless animals concern ahead of her own. Susan has indeed reminded me that while there’s way too much anger and greed in the world, I can choose to surround myself with positive people who perform compassionate selfless good deeds looking for nothing in return.
Thank You Susan, an may you all have a safe and love filled holiday….PEACE

Go to you tube to see her story at……… Deer pierced in face with arrow @ …… http://youtu.be/vkIH8aP4DbU