Dignity and Dedication

You do not know what you are made of until you are put to the test. Most of us can do well, show desirable traits when the living is easy. Those who can be strong, cool and dignified when the world is raining down disaster upon them are at a whole new level.

There are examples of people stepping up where there are major disasters such as 911or Katrina. There are also examples of the smaller scale incidents that impact smaller groups such as couples or families.

I have a front row seat to the latter right now. And what I am witnessing are the highest levels of dignity and dedication.

Before my Mom entered the hospital at the beginning of the month she was already infirm. Practically blind, a liver that not even Hannibal Lecter would like, a bloated stomach and legs that were not holding her weight. She needed help getting out of bed, getting to the bathroom, getting dressed getting fed.

Fred, her husband, has sacrificed almost all of the rest of his life to take care of her. He was staying home every day and doing everything that she needs. He has been a full time caretaker for a couple of months now. He does not complain. He does what he does because in his mind this is what a spouse, a person, a mench dos in this situation. No second thoughts. He defines dedication.

My Mom is frustrated that she cannot do the things that she used to do. She is forced to wear a diaper and to be cleaned by someone else. She works so hard to feed herself–her hands aren’t working well and the stroke has weakened her right arm. Being almost blind also kinda hampers depth perception so just seeing where to poke a fork is challenging. She is exhausted by the time she is done. Yet she will not let anyone help her until she just can physically do no more. In therapy she is relearning to walk and to speak.

Yet ask her how she is doing and she will smile and say she is doing as well as she can. She has not let great indignities take her dignity from her.

I can only hope that I will act with the grace under fire and have the ability to do what I must–without complaining –as the two people who are my role models today.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

3 Responses to Dignity and Dedication

  1. Frank says:

    Your mother makes me smile…she’s from a generation that does know about dignity. You’ve been raised well…and you’re a lucky man to have a mom like that.

  2. PeachFlambe says:

    I echo Frank’s comments. I think our parents generation knew far more hardship during their lives than we ever will experience. And they endured it with a strength and grace that continues to inspire me. They are evidence that not all of us are a “nation of whiners”.

    I also am inspired by your ability to draw strength from a difficult situation. Thanks for being a role model for the rest of us who, most likely, will someday go through what you are going through now.

  3. 48facets says:

    I hope that the next generation can still learn from the one before.

    Peach, I appreciate your words. All I can say is that it is hard.

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