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Pandemic Perspectives (July 2022)

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

Despair is easy.

How do caregivers do it? Day in and day out they are responsible for the care of the elderly, injured and those with specific needs. Unless one has experience of this kind firsthand, one doesn’t truly know what it entails and the emotional toll it takes on individuals.

This writer is now in the middle of visiting and taking care of his parents, who are old and frail. Finally being able to travel since 2019 to his home country and after restrictions eased a bit, it was a true shock to see how much of a decline his parents are in. Both are in their 80s and have Parkinson’s. Tears blur the vision repeatedly over how they don’t know who he is sometimes or how simple tasks seem so impossible now. They have fears and anxieties that are difficult to ease. They need someone to wipe them up when needed and even drinking water needs assistance. There are tender moments when they look at you with love in their eyes and thank you for being here or when they smile at the most simple joys.

Despair is so easy. Writing this is so difficult because the pain of seeing them this way and experiencing in some small way what they are going through wracks the body with overwhelming sadness.

So what now? Does despair just take over?

Life is beautiful. They lived full and beautiful lives. But now life for them is a burden. This writer and his siblings have taken even more measures to give them as much comfort and love as they near the end of their last chapter here on earth. Mom asks, “Why are you being so kind to me? You do so much and I should be helping you.” We reply, “You’ve already done so much, Mama. Now it’s our turn to help you.”

Despair can also be sweet it seems.

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