Given how much I write about the people in my life, it ought to be clear that I’m extremely grateful for the many ways in which friends have helped me on this journey. As I look forward to the American holiday of Thanksgiving, my heart overflows with Thanksgiving toward those people who have taken the time to be there for me and to listen to me as I struggle to navigate the complex world of young adulthood, chronic illness, and graduate school. In the spirit of thankfulness and in acknowledgement of the energy required for caregiving, I’ve compiled a treasury of my own ideas of gifts to care for the caretaker, small ways to say “Thank you for caring” and “Thank you for welcoming me into your life even if you can’t imagine how to relate or what to do.”

Caring for the Caregiver

I also have many friends who want to help and don’t know how. I don’t need a superman or a magician. I need friends who walk with me on this journey, who take time to learn about my struggles, who are open to my whole life, not just what’s comfortable. Here are some things for them.

Walk with me on this journey

A few other things come to mind:
– Shannon at Meadow Muffin Gardens also has a post on National Caregivers Month
– Hugh Marriott has written a highly entertaining book called The Selfish Pig’s Guide to Caring which details his own journey of learning to care for his chronically ill wife

Just a few thoughts,
Abigail

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