By Linda Jenkins
After five years in the making, writing this memoir has been one of the most intense endeavors I’ve ever taken on, but well worth it.
While I was writing this memoir I discovered how much pain I still had deep inside of me. Pain from some of the experiences. Pain from not knowing what or how to deal with dementia. Pain of not understanding what caregiving entails. Pain from dealing with the healthcare field. Finally, pain when it’s all over.
Many times through my caregiving years I felt lonely inside. Even after my Mother’s death I felt loneliness. You know what I mean if you are a Caregiver or have been one. Even though I was surrounded by family and people I loved, there was still a sense of loneliness.
Pouring through my journals to capture information for my memoir was like going back in time and reliving the experiences. Some of my entries were humorous and other entries were screaming, “Help! I don’t understand.” Still others were filled with sadness and torment. I even found myself in tears while typing the manuscript! I began to realize I wasn’t “done” with my grieving, not even close. That’s when I discovered I had not had any closure; I had no idea how much I needed that. Personally, I don’t believe we ever truly “get over” the death of someone we love, we just learn to accept it; we never really forget. My loved ones are still close to my heart.
My intention for writing this memoir is to help other caregivers know they are not alone in their journey; to let them know it’s an ongoing learning experience all the way to the end. There’s no magic wand to free up the pain and sacrificing a caregiver deals with.
In my personal experience, my faith was my saving grace throughout my caregiving years. The Lord carried me through some rough and turbulent seas, without Him I would have drowned.
A scripture that came to me during the writing of my memoir, and is included inside the book is: “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.
The feedback I’ve gotten from my book has been one of encouragement, hope and most of all keeping the faith. This is confirmation of the need caregivers are searching for.
About the Author
Linda Jenkins has been in the skin care field for 18 years. Time spent with individual clients taught her how deep a relationship can go with genuine caring and the importance of touch. Having a nurturing character and personality helped her as she became the primary Caregiver for her mother after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Living the role as a caregiver, journaling along the way, Linda was compelled to share her experience with others after the death of her mother in 2011. To Helen With Love, A Daughter’s Caregiving Journey offers information, support and inspiration.