Monday, November 12, 2012

Not What It's About

Another Veteran's Day has come and gone.

More thanks has been passed around.

More acknowledgement of what soldiers past, present, and future go through.

More free food and discounts.

Then what?

Another year forgotten?

I certainly hope not, but it seems to be the case with many.

Do you know what we did on Veteran's Day?

I sat at home and took care of the children while Sean slept most of the day. Sean hasn't been sleeping well again and so was exhausted and in pain. Sean didn't care about the free food. He wasn't interested in the discounts. He was interested in finding rest and perhaps a bit of a break from the pain. So, I was happy to give it to him.

I wrote on my Facebook about how I wish others would not only give their thanks on Veteran's Day but perhaps find ways to thank them through out the year, by perhaps donating to helpful organizations or even taking a veteran out to dinner. I just wanted people to understand that for so many veterans every single day is a struggle and they need so much more than a day of thanks.

The need support.

They need help.

They need to know they aren't forgotten.

I strive to show Sean all those things and more every day, but there are so many veterans out there who have no one and no place to go. It is up to the rest of us to show them their sacrifices mean something.

You know it is funny, with the rising awareness of struggling veterans people are also starting to learn the impact it has on the loved ones, most importantly the caregivers of those veterans. Others like me. So, in the number of well wishes and thanks to veterans you saw some people extended their thanks to the Caregivers and family. A nice courtesy considering more often than not we are forgotten more than the veteran because people don't realize what we deal with.

Then I came across a message in a support group I am part of, it was referring to someone else's message they came across. Now I am not going to go into details aside from pointing out the the individual was stating how they feel that Caregivers need to quit expecting praise and thanks when it is about the Veteran and not them. The individual used some foul language and basically made it seem as though Caregivers were looking to be placed in the limelight.

Now I don't know about other Caregivers, but to me I don't expect any kind of praise or thanks from anyone. I imagine it could be the same for other Caregivers, but I cannot speak for them. That isn't what it is about for me. I take care of my husband because I want to and being that it is my choice I expect nothing in return.

I get the impression this individual doesn't really know what a Caregiver deals with let alone how they think or feel. Honestly, if someone is in this job strictly to get recognition, well then you are far better off trying to become an actor. Why would anyone want to struggle through days of walking on eggshells, trying to avoid public and private scenes of angry outbursts, getting little sleep because their veteran is fighting nightmares or insomnia, feeling lonely and depressed, forgetting to shower for days because they have to catch up on housework from spending the last few days keeping up with the veteran and children...honestly I could go on, but why would someone choose to struggle with that just to get praise?

No one, not for praise. No, those of us who do all that it is for a completely different reason.

Love.

They say love makes you do crazy things, well it is true. I love my husband and hate that he struggles so and thus I struggle with him every day because I feel he is worth it, our life together is worth it, our children to have us with them are worth it.

So, if someone makes the choice to extend a bit of gratitude to Caregivers and family when they thank Veterans, I say let them! It is nice to know someone thinks of us, but you can bet your ass that isn't why we are here or what we are waiting for!

So, here is my moment, my moment to send my thanks out to not only all the Veterans in my life and the ones who are not, but also to their loved ones who spend each day fighting the battle along side them. To all the Caregivers out there who can sympathize with me on my currently messy house, bathtub filled with dirty dishes because we ran out of room in the kitchen, a fridge and shelves running out of food cause we are late on getting to the store, and the lack of sleep because my husband has had some bad nights and days that I've had to try and handle it all...to all of you who "get it" I send my thanks, my love, my support, and whatever alcohol (virtual of course :D) of your choice! For by golly we could sure use some!

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