A WALK WITH VIRGINIA (A MEMOIR) BY JILL ZAPATA IS A GEM!!! IT WILL MAKE YOU WEEP, LAUGH, AND MOST OF ALL CARE!
To walk with another person can be as mundane as putting on one's socks and shoes, or it can be a twisting, turning, life-changing journey into unknown territory. It can also be everything in between. My walk with Virginia was life changing. It was unexpected. It was challenging. It was frustrating and confusing. We had highs, and we had lows. Thankfully, it was also awe-inspiring and extraordinary.
Have you ever been a caregiver for a family member or a friend? Is it, perhaps, on the horizon of your life? Or maybe you cannot yet see the horizon. Make no mistake, it is not a question of love, whether to provide much needed and potentially long-term care. It is a question of necessity. Love, and devotion born out of love, are the firmly rooted footings on which you stand when providing this necessary care. Humor is the grab bar you grip tightly when the ground below you begins to shake or shift. Patience is paramount. I survived it, and you can, too. I believe I am a better person having had the experience.
My story is a true account of my caregiving experience with my mother-in-law. It lasted only a few short years and, in that time, carved such deep and permanent remembrances too good not to share. Some would ask, "why share something so personal?", and my reply would be, "why not?". Life is so much sweeter when shared with others. I hope you find comfort, a little guidance perhaps, enjoy a few laughs, and chew on some 'food for thought' as you journey with Virginia and I through the blessings and blunders of Caregiving!
The Great Grocery Store Adventure
“She was full throttle and produce was flying in all directions. It was like a bumper car nightmare. And, of course, she was laughing. I, however, broke out in a full sweat, trying to catch oranges, apples, onions, and tomatoes, knowing full-well someone, somewhere was watching all this chaos on security cameras. I was sure we would be escorted out the door within minutes. I guess security personnel were off that day because no one seemed to raise an eyebrow at our antics, not even other nearby shoppers. Or maybe they did, but how would I have noticed? I was too busy bobbing for apples!”
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