Thursday, January 16, 2014

To The Heroes

I salute you. Not for the love you have for your child or parent or patient... For that is more natural. 

I salute you for the...

- medicines you measure
- tubes you rinse
- connections you check
- bags you fill
- sticky clothes you wear from meds coming back at you
- diapers you buy and change and dispose of
- metric ton of wipes you go through
- appointments you keep 
- ointments you apply
- alarms you answer and reset
- supplies you order (hopefully before you've completely run out over Christmas weekend)
- teeth you brush
- bottoms you clean
- prescriptions you refill
- therapy sessions you attend and the exercises you do at home
- bodily fluids you deal with
- sheets you change in the middle of sleeping hours
- levels you test
- numbers you hope for
- stairs and entrances and curbs you traverse
- bathroom stalls you have to use but don't fit into
- miles you drive to specialists
- temperatures you've taken
- bowel movements you've witnessed from an undesired front row seat
- nails you clip and the scratches from not clipping them soon enough
- hand soap and sanitizer you've blazed through
- Clorox you've scrubbed with
- gauze you stock up on
- sites you've managed
- infections you've fought off
- rashes you've investigated
- meals you mix or purée or balance
- muscles you move that aren't in your own body
- many hours you've spent writing down instructions for the short time you try to leave them with someone else 
- syringes you've come to prefer
- breathing treatments you sit (or wrestle) through
- antibiotics you try super hard to remember to add to the medicine routine
- chapped cheeks you battle
- snot you aspirate with a bulb syringe
- constipation meds you administer and the diarrhea you deal with when they work
- massages you attempt even though you have no clue if you're doing then correctly or if it actually helps
- buckles you fasten and unfasten
- helmets you've adjusted
- straps you lengthen and shorten regularly
- parts to specialized cups you hand wash
- bandages you change
- for your daily life...

I have spent a fleeting year where many of you spend a lifetime... and I am in awe
- of your patience
- of your love
- of your steadfastness 
- of your gentle hands
- of your tired hearts
- of your long suffering
- of you...

Not because you're perfect. Not because you never lose it. Not because you're constantly cheerful. But because you get up and love every single moment of every single day. Do not give up. That child, parent, spouse, patient is worth it and there is a God who promises the weary rest, the weak strength, the burdened relief, the mourner comfort... 

And we're standing with you too. Saluting you.