Sunday, January 27, 2008


I would like to share to you a story about a wife and her husband. I got this true story from a book, ripples of joy, which was given to me by my brother. Reading it did inspire me and touched my heart.

I am a caregiver. My forty-year-old husband, David, has a little known genetic disease called Huntington’s disease. He can do almost nothing for himself.

I can tell you that caregivers experience a wide range of emotions, depending on the largely upon the person whom we are caring. Lately, I have to admit; I’ve been feeling there’s really no reward for what I am doing.

David has difficulty feeding for himself, and swallowing is accomplished only with great deal of effort. One day, with more food landing on his shirt than in his mouth, David and I were going through the usual “ change the shirt” game.

“David lift up your arms,” I pleaded. And then, “if you do, we can go and have ice cream.”

David’s garbled speech made his response to my urging impossible to comprehend. I did figure out, however, that he had no intention of lifting his arms or cooperating as I changed his shirt.

I felt myself tense up, and I sighed in frustration. I didn’t need this today. Try as I would, I simply couldn’t understand what he was saying. And we weren’t moving any near our goal-getting him into a clean shirt.

‘David,” I finally said, “my job is to feed you, make sure you take your medications, and help your doctors and nurses. Your job is to help me help you. You need to lift your arms, please.”

With an endearing smile so like that of the man I had married before the ravages of Huntington’s disease took him away, David said, “No. My job is to say ‘I love you’ in as clear voice as possible.”

Care giving is not something I would ever choose to do. Imagine most people would not choose what is usually an almost thankless job-especially without pay. Still, there are rewards. Remembering David’s smile and his comment about his “job” is a nice memory I can pull out on days when things get really tough. We all have our Jobs, and David’s job is to say, “I love you.”

David, I love you too.

This is one good story that is worth telling. I was reading the story and I just can’t imagine not blogging about it. This story is from the book of Cheryl Kirking, Ripples of Joy. If you happen to in a bookstore, check the book out you will surely love it. There are more stories in life that is worth reading and the simple it is, the better it gets.

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