Hi…my name is Deb.
Through the years, my most challenging and rewarding times were in the caregiving of my parents. I can honestly speak here from a daughter’s heart and in my experience I can also speak from a caregiver’s heart. This is what I intend to do in ‘Lilacs & Greensleeves’ as I try my best to represent Care4You and Donna Hoover in sharing thoughts and concerns regarding the caregiving of our loved ones. I will speak from the heart of a daughter and a caregiver. Many of you reading this have been, are, or will be one or the other. You’re a husband, a wife, a mom, a dad, a son, a daughter, a close relative, a good friend, a cherished neighbor! We all can see that caregiving touches many people on many different levels! I suppose you noticed the title…”Lilacs & Greensleeves.” Please allow me to explain. My mother loved Lilacs, so my dear Dad planted Lilac bushes around their home for her to enjoy. In time, Mom developed Post Infarct Dementia…which is dementia from a stroke. As the years progressively took her memory as well as the strength in her body, it became apparent that she could no longer go outside to her beloved Lilacs and bring cuttings inside to enjoy their beautiful scent.Now for the ‘Greensleeves.’ Dad appreciated the beauty of flowers but he wasn’t really one to go out and buy them on a regular basis. One of his loves was a green jellied candy called, ‘Green Leaves.’ Another one of his loves was music and one of the songs he played a lot was ‘Greensleeves.’ One day while in a playful mood, he decided to change the name of those delicious candies to yes, you got it, ‘Greensleeves.’ I smile in remembrance of this! Well, the time came when Mom’s body just could not sustain her anymore and in God’s sweet mercy, He brought her ‘Home.’ Now there was no thought as to what flowers I would put in her vase at the cemetery that year. Of course…her beautiful Lilacs! Because of his loving devotion to Mom, Dad held strong through her years of need but now he appeared to be surrendering to his own needs. He followed her ‘Home’ that next year. While visiting their gravesite on Father’s Day, I decided to place some ‘Greensleeves’ in his vase instead of flowers. I stood there and could not help but giggle as to what the groundskeeper might say when it was time for him to mow the lawn that next week!! Ok…I didn’t just giggle, I laughed! I laughed good and long and hard and the feeling was like a healing balm that soothed my tired body, mind and soul. Oh how I needed that!! To this day I sometimes wonder if the groundskeeper ever took a ‘Greensleeves’ or two out of the vase that week. Knowing my Dad as a person who shared with others, I think he would have liked that! So in honor of my Mom and Dad…two people that I ‘grew up’ with, loving and learning from and being their caregiver for over 8 years, I humbly dedicate this blog to them… My ‘Lilacs & Greensleeves.’ Even after 40 years of nursing in other areas of practice, what I’ve learned about caregiving in the home, I learned from my walk with my parents during this needful time in their lives. As a caregiver, I truly understand the emotions, the hard work involved, the long hours worked each day and sometimes into the night. I understand the feelings that those being cared for have and how difficult it can be for them at this time in their lives when they want their ‘Golden Years’ to be just that….Golden. To those of you who are being cared for, to those who are family and friends or who are the caregivers themselves, Care4You recognizes the need for you to be respected, validated and to be heard. Our professionalism, drive, caring spirits, our desire to help our clients stay as independent in their homes for as long as possible…these are some of the many attributes that we all share with Donna Hoover! Everyone has someone in their lives at one time or another who are their….. ‘Lilacs & Greensleeves.’ And so to that I respectfully say,
So when the Lilacs were at their most fragrant, Dad would bring some of the flowers into their home.
Oh how the air was filled with their amazing perfume and even in her dementia, Mom’s reaction was priceless!