Many years ago, I worked at a nursing home in my area. I was an activities aide though eventually was certified as a CNA to help out when needed. When I first started there, my friends would tell me to not get attached, to not care too much. My answer was always that you can’t be in the health care field and not CARE! People can sense that and the last thing an ailing person needs to feel is that they are not genuinely cared for.
Fast forward 16 years to February, 2019… I had been laid off from my job the previous month and was in an emotional upheaval of mental darkness. Cabin fever in the long winter months up here will do that to you. A friend of mine told me that her 88 year old, aunt Peg needed weekend care.
I was unsure at first. I hadn’t been a caretaker in 16 years. I had never worked in a private setting and I had doubts that I would be able to do it. She lived in my neighborhood and I would be able to bring Aurora with me to stay with her in the weekends. I prayed about it and made my decision to go for it, doubts and all.
That first weekend caring for Peg was scary, not because of her but because of my self doubt. Despite a minor incident, we survived our first weekend.
We hit it off very well with Peg. Aurora was happy to get to help me work, Peg was happy to have a little one in the house and I was happy to feel useful and use some of that training I had gotten years before.
While caring for Peg, I decided to try to take up crocheting (after a four year break) and also took up knitting. Aurora and I would watch videos to learn. Once I decided that I was serious about learning, I bought all new hooks and yarn and went to town learning.
Peg enjoyed watching me learn and always marveled how patient I was. She would tell me that if that was her, the needles would be thrown across the room. Twenty years ago, that would have been the case for me. I guess getting older has instilled some patience in me, and I hope to be able to apply that patience in other areas of my life.
Sadly, our time with Peg was too short and she passed away last week. Though we are sad, we are happy for the time we had with Peg. Taking care of Peg helped me teach Aurora some valuable life lessons on how to care for others and be compassionate, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Fare thee well Peg, we shall miss you. I’m thankful that you inspired me to crochet and knit and I shall always think of you when I do. I’m grateful that our paths crossed, if even for a short time and I hope we meet again some day. We love you! ❤️