One of the bright spots for me and heart spots no doubt, is having our Closed Group on Facebook. It is an opportunity for caregivers to speak their truth in a platform of people that ‘get it’. Members share stories; heartbreaks and triumphs and along the way, the news that their loved one has passed away.
One of our members touched my heart from the beginning, willing to share her days with us, which was healing for so many. Beth Lovelace Beard lost her Mom about a year and a half ago and understands the days during and after caregiving well. She recently posted and her story so touching I reached out to ask if I could share this, with all of you:
I haven’t posted in a while, but I have still kept all you dear ones in my heart and prayers! Life does tend to move forward in spite of our overwhelming caregiving responsibilities. Even after our loved one has made his or her way “home,” we seem to move through our days in a fog of mixed emotions.
I wanted to share something that happened to me yesterday as both an encouragement and a caution. I was driving from yoga (very helpful to stay active while caregiving) to visit my daughter, who works at a nail salon (very important to stay connected with family and friends, and to also pamper yourself once in a while with a mani or pedi!) An elderly woman made a left turn into my lane right in front of me, and even after slamming on my brakes, laying on the horn, and having to swerve to the right, I don’t think she ever saw me! Thankfully we did not collide. After taking a few breaths, quickly thanking God for His protection, I watched her continue on through the intersection ahead, where this time she swerved around a vehicle. My next thought should have been, “That crazy woman @#$%!!!”, but then I realized that she had pulled out of a cemetery, and my heart immediately empathized with her!
“Distracted driving” isn’t just caused by our phones or some physical thing. Our emotions and state of mind can impair our judgment, cause us to make irrational decisions, and even block our vision of reality. In the case of the lady yesterday, she didn’t “see” me nor the other car.
My dear neighbor drove me around following my Mom’s passing, as I was delivering flowers and leftover goodies from her service to the hospital, hospice home and assisted living home where she had been cared for in her final few months. I so appreciated not having to think about driving, so as an encouragement and a caution to you all, please don’t drive when overwhelmed by your emotions!! Also, if you see someone else who is, then offer to drive for them!! I am changing the slogan, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” to “Friends don’t let friends drive away from cemeteries!”
We genuinely don’t know what is going on in the lives of others. Beth, thank you for all that you are and all that you bring to the world. I am grateful to know you.