The Path We Came Through

Life brings many ups and downs, highs and lows. We live through love and loss, see the birth of children and the death of loved ones. Through these experiences, we get a glimpse of the brevity of life and the gifts we receive every day.

When we are knee-deep in life’s muck it’s often hard to find the beauty in those everyday gifts. How do we help ourselves when we are the caretakers? How do we provide comfort when those we love are suffering? Many times, caretakers are the ones who feel it the most. Caring for an elderly parent or one suffering with dementia can be heartbreaking. While the body may be healthy, the mind is lost.

Take yourself outside of the equation for a moment. Replay, if you can, the person’s life story—their birth, childhood, teenage years, married life, experiences with children, and then adult life. Gather photos from every stage of their life and lay them out on a long table. Ask those you know to fill in the gaps with stories, videos, and laughs. See the person, not as a patient, but as a baby, child, teen, lover, parent, working person, friend. Understand all they lived through in their lives—their love and loss, excitement and heartbreak.

Love them, not just for who they are in this moment, but for who they have been all their lives.

Love them, not for what they provide to you, but for the gifts they have given to every single individual they have touched along their path.

When you return to their side, remember this love and remember their journey.

See that this is the path you came through—and their life story is a part of yours.

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