Woken early at the bottom of the mountain.
Long, long day ahead after a few hours rest.
The same hill to climb again today (and tomorrow too)
Problems, twists and turns ahead,
Repetitive behaviours, set in your ways.
Our rewards are fleeting connections, smiles and your achievements, however small.
Caring for you, keeping you safe, pushing the limits.
Mountains to climb.
A while back I wrote this wee poem on the boat after a difficult period at home. When a work colleague who knows my family situation asked how I was, I showed it to her. She looked at me a bit puzzled and said “eh that’s great.” She clearly didn’t get where I was coming from. For me that was fine. It told me two things. One was that you cannot expect people to understand what they have not experienced. The other was not to give up my day job to write poetry!! I had written the “poem” in an attempt to express my feelings in a safe and possibly even creative way. My feelings are in no way a criticism of my son or any other person who requires the support and love that carers show.
Many who are carers will identify with it though I think. It is about that moment after you have supported someone through a restless night and feel so very, very tired but still have to carry on. It is about that moment when you have changed and washed a person who has been incontinent then go to put soiled bedding in the washing machine and return to find that it has happened again. These difficult moments occur on top of the normal day to day tasks and events we all face. Simultaneously there can be an emotional issue as well-that’s my child, this is not what I thought it would be like, that’s my parent but they do not even know me now. These are moments that many of us will have to experience at some time now or in future.
These are the moments when carers can find themselves at the bottom of the mountain.