UPDATE: If you read yesterday’s post, you understand it was rather a “taxing” day. However, after getting out of the house, buying the printer cartridges and taking a stroll through “Michael’s” craft store, I felt better. So when I returned from this hour out of the house, I went back to the Turbo Tax site, placed a simple zero into the box, and voila! The returns were accepted by the government. Woo-Hoo!
What I didn’t tell you was a delightful woman met with Ken and me yesterday morning. She was from the Aging and Disability Resource Center. This time, it was to inform us of a “Share the Care” program.
One of the toughest parts of being a caretaker is asking for help. That four-letter word is trouble for all of us, but it’s one we have to learn. After all, friends and family want to help. And we are very lucky. We have been blessed by family and friends who had helped without asking; they have stepped forward and done many things for us–like his aunts and uncles, cousins and others pooling their money for a wheelchair ramp. And then hiring Scott who built it for us. Yes, Scott was paid for his services, but I know his estimate didn’t fully cover all of the time and care he put into the job. You see, Scott is not only a meticulous contractor, he’s become a wonderful friend. When I cornered him to offer more money, which he richly deserved, he said, “As long as you’re happy, Barb, I’m satisfied.” He built something beautiful for us. What a gift!
The frustrations that come along ,which caretakers feel silly asking for hel, are the little things– like fixing a leaky toilet or helping drag patio furniture out from the garage, or cleaning gutters. I feel I should be able to figure these things out alone. But when I add these simple things to the paperwork, bill paying, housework, and stepping in when Ken needs help with some small task frequently throughout the day, they get overwhelming, so admitting I need this program of friends and family to help me was a big decision. It caused me to once again choke on my pride.
It got easier when a good friend stepped forward and volunteered to coordinate such activities, and I breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief. Now, all I will have to do is tell her what I need, and she will go forth and conquer.
Hillary was right. It does take a village!