The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.
~ Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul
I cared for my mother Dotty from November 17, 2003 until she went to Heaven on May 25, 2012. I understand how caregivers feel.
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
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It is my belief that there is a path from burden to Joy for every Alzheimer's caregiver.
Many new cargivers cringe or get angry when they first read those words. Some disagree.
I understand how they might feel. I walked in their shoes for 8.5 years, 3,112 days. During one two year period near the beginning my mother did not smile or laugh once.
To me, it felt like I was being emotionally tortured.
I also felt like I was being tested.
It took about 6 years as I traveled along a continuum that included:
deep sadness, overwhelming burden, and confusion until I entered a state of real happiness and finally
Joy is a feeling that goes well beyond happiness. As I felt it, and thought about it, I finally concluded that this feeling of Joy was coming from deep inside me.
It was not coming from my stomach like when you laugh. It was not coming from my heart like when you love. It was not coming from my brain.
This new, all encompassing, feeling of Joy that was washing over me daily was emanating from my
I now believe that this reactivation of my soul, the spirit within me, came directly as a result of my caring for my mother.
It came, oddly enough, from the arduous task of dealing effectively with a person that is living with dementia.
So in some ways you might conclude that a person living with Alzheimer's can deliver an unbelievable gift to you the caregiver.
A gift of spirit and the unleashing of the power of the soul that resides deeply within each and every one of us.
Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
~ Saint Augustine
It is fine by me if you accept, or if you reject my belief.
Fine by me because I know how I feel, and I know what I believe.
But for those who doubt I will tell you this,
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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 5,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
*** Joy a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
*** Soul the spiritual part of a human being regarded as immortal.
*** Sadness is a normal human emotion. Sadness is an emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow.
*** Caregiver is a person who gives help and protection to someone who is sick or in need.