When I first saw this picture I was reminded of a day when angels made their presence known to me. There had been an ice storm and Rodger was in the hospital again. Unable to get there so see him for a few days I was worried about him and how he would react upon seeing me. Although he often said he didn’t mind being in the hospital, he always resented it and acted out when he got home. I was becoming overwhelmed and prayed often asking God to send help. I prayed again as I drove the winding road over the mountain into West Virginia to the VA hospital.
The following is an excerpt from chapter 25 of my book Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, the true story of my time as an imperfect caregiver.
“What did you say?” I asked, not sure I heard right.
“I asked if you need help. I understand that you’ve been caring for your father in your home for a long time and that his needs are extensive. Are you able to leave him to go to the store or go out to dinner with your husband? When was the last time you took an afternoon for yourself?”
“Um …” I stuttered. “Wow. Yes, I need help. Who are you again?” I wanted to ask him to turn around so I could check for wings, but I was afraid to appear cheeky to God.
“Here’s my card. My name is Rob Angelis, and I’m a social worker. I’d like to arrange some help for you…I can offer you in-home assistance if you’re willing to accept it.”
“Oh, I’m willing to accept it.Please tell me more about the program and when we can start.”
Yes, there are angels among us. Many are family caregivers. In the United States alone there are between 65 and 90 million family caregivers and the numbers grow every day. Please do what you can to be supportive. The gift of time is precious to caregivers. A moment of respite is a godsend. Be an angel and reach out to a caregiver. Someone near you is praying for help.