Have you craved for something desperately but was out of reach? For some reason, every time I yearn for the sweet taste of rocky road ice cream, we visit multiple grocery stores just to find it sold out. Perhaps others favor the same flavor as much as I do.
Why am I talking about Rocky road ice cream? Life can be as rocky just like rocky road ice cream, you see, and many focus on the peanuts in the ice cream, that they are unable to enjoy the savory taste of the treat. In life, there are circumstances that we would rather avoid, and in my case, one of them was having to be someone’s caretaker.
Peanuts – A rocky ingredient
In my early teens, I had an opportunity to care for an older relative. I never knew what to do. It was easy at first, but it became arduous as her mental state changed. She became ill and required so much more than just time. She became difficult to deal with, and at times I lost patience. There were moments of frustrations, especially when I had to set aside my personal need, such as homework, taking care of a project, or even as simple as rest. It was a rocky experience.
More Rocky Road ahead.
Now, I am forty-three and suffers from Dystonia and Hemiplegic migraines, both rare conditions. One could say I am on the receiving end this time. There are days when I could not function on my own, and though I struggle with the thought of being a burden to my family, it is my turn to lean on someone. I can’t help but remember my first journey as a caretaker. Will they be open and willing, or will they, too, have to go through the exasperations before they learn a valuable lesson? I often wondered.
It was never easy for my husband in the beginning; patience was not his most deep-seated virtue. He was vexed with my condition and felt helpless most of the time, but he eventually turned around and accepted what he couldn’t control. “In sickness and in health,” I try to remind myself was his motivation.
My husband gave up his most valuable treasure. He gave up his time to serve and support me when I’m going through my physical storms, his way of showing love, and understanding, perhaps it wasn’t his most valuable treasure after all. A served lunch or dinner here and there, a chocolate bar on the side table next to my book so I won’t miss it, and short massages to ease my pain is what he offers me. With all these simple gestures, my favorite is when he figured out which stores carry my simple indulgence, rocky road ice cream, and drives to get not one gallon, but three or more at a time, so I do not run out.
Marshmallow – Smoothness amid rockiness
It was difficult being a caretaker at a young age, but it equipped me with valuable lessons. It taught me patience and understanding. It taught me empathy and helped me realize how hard it must have been for someone who was once healthy, strong, and independent to ask for assistance. It taught me humility and how to accept the help my loved ones give me. The experience opened my eyes, and for it, I am thankful for it helped me grew as a person.
Life can be rocky for sure, but it all depends on how we look at the situation; perspective is everything. If you are intentionally looking for something great, you will find it, just like marshmallows amid the peanuts in the rocky road ice cream. I do not dwell on being a burden to my family or my needing a caretaker. The thought of my spouse giving me his time willingly, understanding me, and knowing what makes me smile during my storm, is what matters. I am thankful for the opportunity to take care of someone, and I am more grateful that someone is willing to take care of me.
About this article: It is my way of showing my appreciation for my husband’s sacrifices. Thank you!