I can't help but wonder how they strike a balance between their own emotions and level of involvement taking care of a family member. Are there limits of sympathy? Not that I spend a great deal of time wondering; I know where their sympathies lie. I suppose while I'm encouraged, daily, to stay the course, I'm just grateful they have too, alongside of me. One thing is certain; these have been mutually transforming experiences, and as a family, we have grown closer.
I feel a special obligation to my family to honestly convey the complexity and humanity associated with having a deep capacity to care for me as their wife and mother. Without a doubt, having your independence taken from you affects everyone involved; and most importantly, concern for their personal health weighs heavily on your mind during the caregiving process. I know there is a distinction between me and my physical challenges, but it's emotionally difficult to hear the frustration in my daughter’s voice from time to time; then, I realize, the proverbial line blurs between the distinctions. After all, when a family member has a "personal illness/trouble" the whole family and the coherence of everyday life becomes disrupted. I recognize these things and, particularly, the responsibilities that both my husband and daughter have dutifully assumed. But I do not want them to lose themselves for the sake of loving and caring for me. I'm deeply aware of the caring ideals that our society promotes. They assure me that dealing with my health issues have invoked feelings of satisfaction, as they have become part of the healing process. My husband says, "This is just what families do."
I've learned from both of them that their selflessness has defined a caring ethic. My family emulates love and compassion without having a second thought about my care; and, I'm confident their spirituality has guided them every step of the way with no limit in sympathy.