Monday, September 27, 2010

Butts and Ashes ~ Revisited

A year ago, I began this blog. Yep, one entire year. Where does the time go? Last year, I was caring for my dad and I needed an outlet for all that was going on in my head. I really don't remember where the idea of a blog came from but I'm thankful for it. Over the last year, I've written some things I really loved, some I still think are pure crap. What I wrote seemed to make people think, laugh or seriously mad. And still, it was all worth it, for me anyway. Butts and Ashes has taken me in some directions I didn't expect and I still have no clue what I am doing with my writing most days. Anyway, here's the first post I ever wrote, if you're interested. If you're not, well.....go do something else.

No, I am not a smoker although I have given it consideration during times of great stress. I was bemoaning to a friend one day that my life seemed to come down to two things, butts and ashes. Having somehow been elected the family caregiver for the last twenty plus years, I can assure you, I have seen a great deal of both. The funny thing is, I don't think I would have had it any other way. I have come to realize what an incredible gift it is to love and care for someone from end to end.

I never intended to be the butt wiper of so many relatives. I also never intended to make so many funeral arrangements or carry so many ashes home in the back of my car. But then, I never intended not to either. The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus says intention is something that one hopes or intends to accomplish. Now here is the absolutely amazing thing about my lack of intention to be a caregiver. Finding myself in this role has led me to more than I could have hoped for. Being a caregiver has also accomplished more in me than I would have ever imagined possible.

In the past, I have cared for my aunt, my mother, my mother-in-law, my uncle, an elderly neighbor, my sister and now my father. Of course, this does not include our seven children I raised or my grandchildren. No, this blog is about caring for the people you never intended to care for. The people who cared for you first really. It's an entirely different kind of gig for those of you who have never had the opportunity or privilege to do it.

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting this last year. It means more to me than it should. I hope you'll keep doing both.


11 comments:

Brian Miller said...

congrats on being here a year...being a caregiver is a high calling and not an easy one either...know it is appreciated even if it is not apparent. keep writing, i'll keep reading...

Glen said...

No worries - it's a pleasure to dip into your world :-)

Delirious said...

I have a facebook account, but frankly, it just doesn't do it for me. I'm a true blogger at heart! :)

Dawn said...

I didn't have any idea that was how you got the name of this here blog.

I'm glad I've found you and your blog in this big blogiverse! =)

Enchanted Oak said...

Yep, that's how it seems to work: you see a need and step up the plate, look around, and find nobody wants to slug it out with you for the position of caregiver. I had no idea what your blog name meant to you, and it's wonderful. You ought to put part of it on your sidebar so your pals in blogoland know you're a butt-wiper and ash-hauler with a great accidental sideways purpose in your life. Just a thought.
I had my one-year anniversary this month too. Like you, it was the challenge of an infirm parent that made me want to reach out, that plus a billion other things. I'm so thankful to have met you and shared some laughs and dreams and daily adventures. Not to mention a near-meeting experience.
Love and good wishes,
Chris

Oklahoma Granny said...

Happy blogiversary!

SquirrelQueen said...

Happy Blogoversary!

Monkey Man said...

A year....awesome. This is oftimes thereapy. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of your life.

J.J. in L.A. said...

I've always wondered why you were 'Butts and Ashes'. : ) I agree, you should put that in your intro or sidebar.

Speaking of caregivers, my mom has done more for me than a mother ever should...like spending 8 hours in a hospital waiting room, while I was in surgery, when home was only 20 minutes away.

Sarah said...

You're showing people what compassion really is. I hope I have your strength if the needs arise.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

awesome - congrats on your anniversary. i remember exactly why i started mine, too. mostly for the same reason as you... i had to have an outlet or i was going to go crazy. (hmmm... i may have already done that but just still in denial.)