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!
Robert W Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! A great read!
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2021
If you are a caregiver or just want a little inside look into how one person handled that difficult position with love and created great memories A Walk With Virginia is the book for you!
I just finished reading the most heartwarming, compassionate memoir by Jill Zapata ‘A Walk With Virginia.’ In it, Ms. Zapata recounts her time spent as a caretaker for her future mother-in-law Virginia.
Having spent time as a caretaker for my mother, I can attest that there are both the funny, as well as those that were heartbreaking, confusing, and yet as Ms. Zapata puts it a ‘fellow feeling’ happens that can only be, between those who you have spent the time as their caretaker.
For as they lose their mobility, ability to do things they once could, and sometimes even their ability to communicate, or hold onto a thought, or activity for long, they become not only your friend, but your child, and no relationship can you ever be quite as close to another, as you do when you become a caretaker.
Yes, it is at times challenging, emotional, frustrating, and difficult, but the joys, and laughter lives on in us so much longer than those harder memories.
I loved this book and shall be one I reread over the years.
Thank you, Ms. Zapata.
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