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(Johnny Cash reference)

(Caregivers, Part 6):

I am compelled to talk about the caregivers I have not talked about to date, really, with the exception of my son for a moment, and a friend, for a moment, my dad and my brother for a moment (and my wife, of course, who pretty much consumes my entire narrative with her care, her vigilance, her patience and her love).

We all know that doctors and nurses and social workers and all of those folks who poke us and prod us and scan us and do whatever they do to document us and stage us and do their best to cure us or at least to palliate our time, all of them are caregivers.

But they are not, no matter how much we appreciate their effort and intelligence and kindness, if we are lucky enough to be able to say that, they are not our primary caregivers, hopefully.

Our primary caregivers are husbands and wives and moms and dads and sons and daughters and sisters and brothers and friends and neighbors, they are our CSN friends, in many cases. They are the people who bear the brunt of our plight.

I believe that.

I believe that it is harder to be a caregiver than a survivor. I have said it many times, and I say it again. I would rather fight it in me than to watch a loved one fight it. Simple as that.

But it is not so simple, of course.

I am finding it harder to write about this than writing about depression, which surprised me at first, but, in the end, it is decidedly true that caregiving is a complex issue, especially as it relates to our loved ones.

I cannot do it justice, after all, and even to come close, I will be repeating myself and telling stories that I have heard over time. And that is what I must do, still not giving them, these people, these so-called ‘caregivers’, their proper due.

Please read the following knowing that I know I have failed to acknowledge them properly before I even begin.

If it were not for my wife, I would be dead.

If it were not for our family and friends, she would be dead.

That was easier than I thought :).