I just returned from a family visit to Trinidad, West Indies and want to publicly acknowledge my sister-in-law for the excellent care she gives to my brother.  As a caregiver myself, I understand the dynamics of the responsibilities and sacrifices imposed on the caregiver.  I admire her humility as she gives her best to accommodate whatever is required for the comfort of my brother.  An accomplished educator, with a Ph.D. Barbara is greatly admired and thanked for the invaluable service she provides at the expense of her sacrifice.

Caregiving is hard, however, it is essential.  I also want to thank my sisters, nieces, nephews, extended family members, neighbours and friends for helping in many different ways as my brother navigates his journey.  It is comforting to know that my sister-in-law is not alone.  She is supported by family and friends.  In caregiving, no man is an island, we need one another.  It was especially special to see neighbours dropping by to simply check on my brother and offer help as necessary.  Caregivers, please know your limits and accept help when offered. The caregiver, as well-intended, as she is must always remember to care for herself so she will be able to continue to take care of her loved one.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to visit my brother.  We talked and laughed, like old times.  I gave him massages and shoulder rubs which he thoroughly enjoyed.  As I prepared to return home to Canada, my sister-in-law conveyed to me that my brother said to her I am a bright light in his life.  My visit was filled with mixed emotions and leaving was bittersweet.  Nonetheless, I am very grateful for our time together and to hold onto my brother’s high praise of me, ‘I am a bright light in his life.’


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