Thursday, June 7, 2018

Caregivers (Pamela and Joan)

Last Sunday, I saw a play at Pig Iron Theatre called The Caregivers. The play dramatized the stories of several people caring for sick or elderly family members, and the lead actors were those very same caregivers. The most interesting thing about the play was...actually the most interesting thing was when everybody became parrots. They did such a great job imitating them and I cracked up laughing every time they came onstage. The second most interesting thing was when Ivan Villa interrupted Evelyn Goldberg’s nightmare to do Zumba in an embroidered sequinned vest singing "La Bamba."

But in terms of play development, the most interesting thing was how all the caretakers onstage were older buds themselves. If they weren’t taking care of their parents, they were taking care of their spouses. I had talked about this issue on the blog before, but The Caregivers addresses it much more openly than I had. In fact, one of the biggest themes of the show was how much of yourself you put into being a 24/7 caregiver. It’s a labor of love, with an emphasis on the labor.

Many of our programs are done with older buds who live at home, so in honor of The Caregivers, I'd like to introduce you to a few of them. Illinois in particular has lots of these types of sites.  When you’re done checking out the sites, you can enjoy this week’s stories from our Philadelphian buds.

Pamela Purdue 
Jumping Rope 

I was peeling an apple the other day. Upon completion, I realized that the apple skin came off all in one very long piece. I smiled to myself, remembering that my brother Russ and I used to watch a boardwalk orange-ade maker and his peeling machine. At eight and nine years old, we were once again spending our summer in Point Pleasant at a beach-front house. 
Though manually operated, the peeling machine removed the entire rind in only a few seconds. We’d grab the rinds and “jump rope” with them as we travelled the length of the boardwalk. Rarely did they break, but if so, we’d get back to the orange-ade maker and help ourselves to more rinds. Once in a while, we’d get a free, tiny cup of orange-ade; a “thanks” to us for cleaning up the peelings from the ground. 
We enjoyed such simple play, in simple times, in a simpler world that is long gone. 
To this day, I can’t drink orange juice without remembering our summers “jumping rope.”

Joan Bunting 
Mother’s Day 

Mother’s Day is a day to honor mothers. I believe that every day is Mother’s Day. 
One day out of each year has been chosen to show our mothers our appreciation of her love, care, and hard work to teach us manners, respect for others, and directs us to taking the right path in life. 
My oldest daughter, Rose, treated me to a concert at my church (Union Baptist) starring Shirley Caesar Friday evening. Before we attended, the concert, she took me to Penrose Diner. 
All of my children called to wish me a happy Mother’s day, even my youngest son, Harold, who is incarcerated. 
I feel so blessed because of how my children show their love towards me in many different ways. 
It hurts my heart to hear mothers say how their daughters don’t speak to them and sons that disrespect them. 
Someone told me that some children respond or don’t respond to their mothers because of how their mother acted towards them when they were growing up. 
But, if your mother has changed and has become a better person, forgive her and show her love. 
Regardless of how she was, she still is your mother. 
She may have regrets for doing or not doing what she should have done but didn’t do. 
If God can and will forgive, why can’t you? 

If you’re a 24/7 caregiver for someone in your family, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri