When my family members meet a friend, the first inquiry is generally not about them, but rather, they are asked, “How’s your dad?” or “How’s Akhil?” I appreciate everyone’s concern, however, if I put myself in my family members’ shoes, I would feel marginalized.
Even though my family members are not expressing this feeling, I can only imagine that this is the case. This post is designed to address this situation.
I am finding that many well-meaning people focus on my well-being but forget that there is a whole team of people that are responsible for how well I am doing. They rarely get the recognition they deserve for all the effort they put into my care. I think it would be appropriate for people to find out how the family members are feeling about the situation. I recognize that this may be an uncomfortable topic for some to broach so for those people, a simple, “And how are YOU doing?” would be sufficient.
She wanted to focus on using the rest of the time with me making happy memories. She was saying things to make me feel good about my “retirement” but I have been married to her for a long time and I know her. I knew she was worried about taking care of the family when I am gone. I also knew that she did not want to burden me with that responsibility. I have a good wife, a good warrior who works in the background to support me.
This brings me back to the point I was making. Even though Laura looks like she has it all figured out, she struggles at times. Don’t get me wrong, Laura doesn’t live in fear; she is pragmatic and she has put together a plan for taking care of the family when I’m gone. If you ask me, she has a lot on her shoulders.
By the way, every family that is dealing with a difficult situation like this, has a member of the family shouldering the load. That is why I am asking you to stop and ask about how the family is doing. Ask about how they are handling the challenging situation in their life. Recognize their heroism.
People may not understand that I want my family to have time to relax and forget what is happening at home. Many of you may have a stressful job that you can’t wait to leave behind for the weekend or a financial stress that you can’t seem to escape.
I am sure every human can relate to the need to get away from something! My family is no different; every hero needs to recharge so they can continue in the war. I hope if you are reading this and are disabled that you will give your family members permission to get away.
So pick up the phone, write an email, go over and visit, no matter what, don’t forget they are the unsung heroes of this battle.