I have decided rather than close this space since my role of caregiver has ended, I will instead post on other aspects of being a caregiver to elderly parents. I am looking at it from having traveled and reached the other side and maybe, just maybe, I can provide encouragement to those who are still walking that unique road.
It's certainly not a resignation nor is it a termination due to poor work performance...it must follow that the time and the work has ran its course and has expired.
Among other things I am in the process of dropping the role of caregiver from my status. Funny, it is not as if I have been doing this job all my life, but the past seventeen months of full-time caregiving for my parents has defined me in ways that absolutely nothing else ever could. It has been the "best of times and the worst of times"....but it has marvelously enriched my life like nothing else could. Unless you have had the privilege of having such a call as being a caregiver to an aging parent, it will not make a true connection with you. You may try and may even think you can put yourself in that place and understand all that it involves...but it will fall short of how consuming that role is in your life. It embodies heart, soul, mind and strength. For some it might have been a gradual change, for others is was instantaneous.
I had a little of both. Mother's brain-altering disease was gradual... years of climbing hard places alongside her and my primary caregiver father. Then when Daddy got sick and needed constant care, it became as a speeding train with decisions having to be made quickly.
Would I have changed anything, the manner in which I acted or the processes I mentally and emotionally walked through? Yes, most certainly. I am for the most part still processing many things as I get back to my life before the caregiving role became a huge part of my daily life as well as my family's life. What was then considered normal.
I am not sure I like the normal in that sense.