Mountains by Dorothy Womack


Caregiving responsibilities consist of numerous mountains that first appear as OBSTACLES. So much has to be done, learned and changed in rapid-fire fashion until you can easily become unnerved, bewildered, or overwhelmed by the tasks set before you.

The trick is to break down these tasks into small, individual steps, where you can go at your own pace while still caring for your loved one’s needs. After you develop a routine of sorts, you begin to gain a measure of confidence in your ability to make and handle crucial decisions, to rely upon your own instincts rather than upon sources not involved with the caregiving situation itself. In other words, little by little, you learn how to cope!

What you do not see during this process, and are usually quite oblivious to, is that each step you take is creating OPPORTUNITIES out of those obstacles! You are gaining something positive for every negative experience you face. Often, it is only in hindsight that we truly do realize this profound truth….Words which I penned over two decades ago, long before I ever had to actually LEARN it for a reality, much less LIVE it, were these: "Those things placed there upon my path were meant to stumble me – But these became the steppingstones to greater victories."

The ultimate result of your caregiving? Despite the ordeals, upheavals, trials, struggles and setbacks of the outside of you, the inside of you is becoming more resilient, sturdy, steadfast, immoveable, resourceful and self-assured. You have taken so many steps from where you once began that, much to your own amazement, you stand ATOP those mountains of obstacles! Your steps led you to opportunities for growth and now, you stand atop the mountain which once loomed so large and ominous in your eyes. You can see, from this vantage point, that you truly are an OVERCOMER!! You have weathered the storms of life on behalf of another living soul – and as a result, have found strength to override your human weakness, inward power to withstand the buffetting of manmade opinions, and grace to help in times of need.

Yes, you do start out at the bottom of the mountain in caregiving, where the obstacles reside. But each step you take brings opportunities for inner growth – and ultimately, you find that those things which you thought were for the WORST have turned out to be for the very BEST!! But it is only AFTER the caregiving is complete and you stand ATOP that mountain as an overcomer of all which has befallen and ensnared you, that you can truly grasp this for a reality and incorporate it into your concept of yourself.

It does make me wonder sometimes – If we just reached up our hand through the clouds at that altitude – Could we somehow feel the touch of our loved one as they crossed over to that other side?

2000 Dorothy Womack. All Rights Reserved.