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Barbara downstairs

The pandemic taught us that we’re all caregivers, for ourselves and each other. However, I was thrust into the role several years ago, when my mother-in-law’s descent into dementia accelerated.

Today as we celebrate her 95th birthday, it seems like a good time to reflect on the lessons this retired school teacher has imparted to our family. I learned that care giving is an act which nurtures our best traits while healing our worst. She has taught me that communication involves more listening than speaking.

At its best, care giving is not a fight. It’s a practice…that never ends. It is not political and it transcends skin color, nationality, wealth, gender, and age. Care giving should not destroy, since discarding the flawed would mean discarding all of us. Finally, caring for someone often means doing less, but being more.

I realize that many of the kindest gestures we’ll ever make, and the most important things we’ll ever do, won’t come easy and will never be seen publicly.

Let’s do them anyway.





Award-winning author Renee Garrison has completed her second novel, “Anchored Together,” which will be released in the fall.