What about Me?


In the early dawn this morning, I need to leave quietly as to not disturb the household. The assignment this day is to drive to the home of a fellow Veteran and spend the best part of the day and evening with him attending to his every need. He is extremely handicapped. The loss of most of his legs and part of his arms is the least of his trouble. Inside he is a mess and without going into details let’s just say he was hit mid lower body with an IED. When I arrive, the very first thing is to get him on the toilet.  After we get him relieved and then into the shower, I can suspend him on a sling where some of the cleaning he will attempt on his own and the rest I must take care of. I will put together a breakfast for him in the kitchen, though he will probably want to eat in his wheel chair. Breakfast being ready, I return to finish his cleaning and dress him checking all his injuries to make sure that nothing is missed. Ears, nails. hair, teeth, then off to the kitchen. I turn on the TV and he settles in for a bit of food and news. I must now go recover his bedding, clothing and everything we use for clean up. I start the wash, find the new linen and find what he wants to wear today. I check and see if there is anything else he needs after that and try to clean house, dishes, and take out the garbage. I work on lunch in the meantime and then begin the special therapy, which takes a couple of hours. We eat together and I try to see if he will take a stroll with me. Not today. The same every day, maybe someday, we shall see. We discuss the news and I ask about family and there is a cold silence. I never get inside. We decide to order in Pizza tonight. The evening was spent quietly tidying up everything for the night. Evening news is over and he wants to go to bed. He has access to TV and Radio in his room and the phone and computer are on his table. He never seems to use them. I wish I could get inside for a bit. I must leave now as it is late, nearly ten at night. I say goodnight and make sure my phone number is on his phone. The the drive home is my time to prepare for another day just like this today, tomorrow. It is what I have chosen for my life. I want to be of service to the Veterans. There is nothing I love better that being here for them when they cannot be here for themselves. He never says  thank you, but I understand that gratitude is sometimes hard to capture when your soul is at war. Thank you for your service Bill. A tear and then I am off.

” The heart of a caregiver is very special, they are givers.” They give their all here and now, much like those who gave their all on the battlefield. Self sacrifice is not what they do, it is who they are. I don’t believe you will ever hear one of them asking, “What About Me”

The silent unsung hero’s today are these givers. They are the unknown soldiers of modern life. Much like those who now rest.

I would raise an anthem to them, since there are no words which can express the gift they are to each of the men and women of the US military who receive their undying comfort and care each and every day.


 
%d bloggers like this: