Two years ago, right around this same time of year, I put my 4 year old daughter to bed and headed into my bedroom. My husband was looking through the channel guide on the TV and saw a program called “Stand Up 2 Cancer”. As we were looking at the guide we noticed that this program was actually on multiple channels. It was almost as if we had no choice in the matter, we had to put it on.
If someone were to ask you what it means to be a caregiver, what would you say? To me, I never really liked this word or title for that matter. So for me to be able to define caregiver or to understand its meaning was never an easy task. To me, being called a caregiver just irked me; not because I was caring for my mom, but because I didn't do it for a title. It wasn't a job I was hired for or requested, it was just something I did because I wanted to. Then ironically, this past June, I was asked by one of my former students who is involved with the Eastern Montgomery Country Relay for Life to give the “caregiver” speech. It was a difficult one to give, but in hindsight it has become one of my favorite. I often think about the speech I gave that stormy night in June at the Hatboro-Horsham football stadium. As I sew the tags on blankets, open the boxes of squares that pour in to our PO Box, message with blanket recipients and their family members, I think of my caregiver speech.
As I was on my run this morning, being able to finally decompress from an extravagant 3 days in Minnesota, I had an epiphany. The events over the course of those 3 days, were indescribable. I often found myself in awe and saying "I do not deserve this" or "I cannot believe I am here." But it wasn’t until this morning, that I realized why.
It’s reflection time! With the most recent picture I shared on our FB page, I felt compelled to write. Project Chemo Crochet is quite an amazing endeavor. When this man was given this blanket, he told his nephew that it was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for him. What a bold statement! What a deep appreciation for our work! Sometimes I get so busy and got up with the process of all of this that I forget how special each and EVERY blanket is to someone out there in the fight (or at least I hope it is).
"I realize that when I start becoming depressed, I’m thinking about the past. I realize if I’m becoming anxious, I’m thinking about the future. But when I’m just kind of like ‘I’m right here with Barbara Walters,’ that’s just being in the present…enjoying the moment." - Robin Roberts