Caring for the Caregiver

He gazed intently at me with those blue, blue eyes.

“So, who takes care of the caregiver?” he asked me, implying that he would like to be the one….

I might have fallen for him then and there ….except that at the very moment he asked me he was married, drunk and smoking a cigarette. So, I poked his mom in the ribs, “I think he is hitting on me. Do you think he is hitting on me?” She nodded.

But it is a good question. Single parents take care of the kids, who takes care of them?

In my own case, I am reminded of what David Richo, in his book The Power of Coincidence, says about alder bushes: “alder bushes grow on rocky ledges around glaciers, unsupported by soil. They fertilize themselves from the air with nitrogen. Each leaf that falls in autumn richly fertilizes the ground with this nitrogen and lays the groundwork for an alder forest that will appear in the future.”

I have to tell you, this image sustains me. Most of my life, I have felt unsupported by those immediately around me, while I continue to be caregiver to children, and parents and the dying. The idea that I am pulling nitrogen from the thin air and laying it as a blanket at my feet to nourish future generations comforts me.

Single parent = alder bush.


2 responses to “Caring for the Caregiver

  1. I was delighted to read your reference to David Richo. He is one of my all-time favorite authors and I happen to have The Power of Coincidence sitting on my shelf patiently waitings it’s turn to be read. I’m currently halfway thru Daring to Trust which is excellent and now I am looking forward to Coincidence.
    I really enjoy reading what you write!

  2. David Richo is awesome!!! If I had know a man like him when I was dating….well, let’s just say, things would be different. 🙂

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