The following blog is an introduction to my upcoming book on caregiving. It chronicles the highs and lows of my experience providing care for my elderly father. The book will be available on eBook and paperback by August 2022.
Three months after his stroke and heart attack, Daddy was discharged from the hospital to come home with me. My house became a revolving door for nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and caregiver candidates. I took a vacation from work to transition Daddy into his new home. And this was now his home. His standard week-long visit had already been extended and he was in no condition to live autonomously.
Days before my vacation ended, the big picture became crystal clear! Daddy really didn’t want a caregiver at all, he wanted me! Every time I mentioned going back to work, he would ask, “Do you have to go back?” While I was the youngest, in his opinion I was also the bossiest! I was also the only one who was a parent. Daddy was acutely aware of parenting tasks such as planning, making tough decisions, sacrificing, and balancing work with home life. Perhaps he was confident that because I had raised two children, which became more difficult after my divorce, certainly I had the skills to help him through this phase of life. Who knows what was going through that gray-haired head of his! I didn’t have a clue what was to come, but after he had been with me for six months, I recognized that raising kids was merely a precursor to raising Daddy!