Loving Care

The past six weeks I have had my parents with me.  They are in their early 80’s, and for the last eight years I have flown them to New Mexico to get them out of the snowy winters of northeastern Ohio.  A week after they arrived, my Dad’s health took a downward turn.  He ended up in the hospital, three weeks in a skilled nursing center, and then two weeks in my home, until I was finally able to fly them back to the rest of our family four days ago.  I share this with you only because of the thoughts I  have had while going through this experience.

With the importance of making right decisions and the quick realization of an inadequate knowledge – I desperately held on to the remembrance of the families in my life who have a Special Olympics athlete living in their home.  My thoughts about those families centered around “care” – a care different in scope, intensity, and duration.  A care unique to each family, yet similar in its heavy responsibility around daily living.

I have felt humbled by an even greater respect for our Special Olympics families, who learn early on that care is not dependent on how you feel, the difficulty of the task, or how time-consuming this may be.  This depth of care doesn’t factor in balancing leisure, work, or other family responsibilities  – it simply presents needs and demands.

What I know to be true in my own life these past few weeks is this.  The on-line dictionary defines care as “a burdened state of mind arising from heavy responsibilities.”  But there is a deeper meaning to be found in deeper care, and I embraced it with everything I had because of our families and their strength, unconditional love, and selfless example.  Today I am choosing to write my own definition of care – a sacrificial blessing that happens in gratitude for those who God has given us to care for.

My sincere thanks to our families for setting a standard I tried hard to meet.  You continue to be an inspiration to me, and my life and my families life takes on greater meaning because of you.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “Loving Care

  1. What a great thought Randy. Thank you for sharing the insights you gained from caring for your dad and for the truth of your “care” definition. You are an inspiration to your athletes, their families and your friends.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing Randy and prayers to your parents and the family who help take care of them. God places things/people in our paths to help mold us into who we become. Being a caregiver gave you a better appreciation and understanding of what others handle on a daily basis. YOU ROCK RANDY! You’re an awesome daughter and great role model for special people everywhere. We love you!

  3. Helen Sharer

    You have commented on families caring for athletes, but I wonder how many athletes are now caring for family members as is our wonderful daughter Kathleen. Now she is the main care giver for her parents Ralph and Helen. We do not know what to do without her. We thank God for her every day and for things that she has learned as a Special Olympic athlete. God Bless you Randy for taking good care of your parents also.
    Helen Sharer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s