The best advice I ever received got me through caregiving…

Growing up in a time when most parents were in their twenties when they had their children my mom and dad waited until their 30s. So, after 4 kids, Mom and Dad decided to have another and another. Yep, I was a fifth out of six children! 

And boy, my parents were like grandparents around all my friend’s parents….they were so OLD…

But, I was blessed to have had that older wiser mom. Yes, our family had their issues but to be honest – some of the wisdom she passed on to me I hold as true today and in the 60’s.

I’ll never forget asking her how she managed to live through the Spanish Flu, World War II and then the Great Recession, the starvation, the polio epidemic when her sister was struck down, dad going off to the Korean War, the drugs and Woodstock, and raising wild teenagers in the 60’s and one autistic son.

She told me that today’s generation (my generation of baby boomers) is like a dog with a bone. She said we just won’t let go of things and then she said that her generation learned to…

“Just let it go. Make the best of it and move on.”

I think this was an invaluable lesson to me. While it has been difficult at times (I do pick my battles), I have learned to let go of the things that could eat me up inside if I didn’t.

For example, having been married twice and divorced twice and having children in both marriages, I learned to be friends with my ex-husbands. They were genuinely nice men. And they were the father of my children. And my children had a right to know who their dads were and why I fell in love with them in the first place.  I couldn’t take that kind of love away from my kids.

So even though it was rough getting through the divorces and hurtful, it was one of the greatest pieces of advice I ever got. Just let it go. And once everything was done and the divorce was settled I rebuilt a relationship of grace and kindness so my children could see the human side of life.  

This allowed me to give them a choice as they grew up, how they wanted to see their Dads.  I passed this choice to them without bias.

So learning to Let It Go and learning to move on and rebuild is one of the greatest strengths I have because of my mom. If I can’t fix it, if I can’t change it, if I can’t modify it, I have to let it go.

So when your Mom says horrible things, or won’t eat, when Dad is up all night, when the very plans you look forward to, won’t work…can you rearrange, modify, change it or let it go?

And don’t forget….

Never be ashamed to vent. You’re going to vent. Everybody does.

(another piece of advice I learned from my mother…)

It’s a big part of the process, she said. It’s got to come out so we can let it go…

Find the 3-4 friends that you can trust so they can take turns hearing you vent and then let it go and get back to being the person you truly are…

A caring loving human being who is too busy looking for the next bright light in your own life to bother with the past we cannot change.

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No one ever said. “I regret taking care of my loved ones.” Yet, many have said, “I wish I knew what I know now.”


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