Some years ago, when I cared for my mother, a Social Worker asked me why I did it. Stuck on stupid, I blurted out "I do it out of love." She then asked me what love is, and I asked her "Don't you have a home to go to?" as I opened the front door. Rude, wasn't it? The fact was that caring for my mother -- what I often referred to as a "labor of love" -- was sapping the life out of me to the point I did many things on impulse and out of anger that I still regret. Coincidentally that night, I listened to the lyrics of one of Whitesnake's songs; ... "I want to know what love is ... I want you to show me." I'm still rambling about it.

Love is such a priceless, pregnant word that I stopped trying to define many years ago. ... When you honestly learn to love, respect, and accept yourself -- without labels, without games, without pretenses of any kind -- people notice because you wear it on your face. Spreading it around, and sharing it with that special someone, becomes a lot easier. You might never be able to define it, but you can certainly understand how it works and express it in many ways as you follow the path to becoming a better man, a better person, and a better human being.

In my personal experience, what began as a labor of love with my mother became a battle of wills that quickly escalated to a civil war that raged inside of me for a few years as I struggled to have my cake and eat it too. This kind of love often pushes you to the edge, makes you wonder if it's just a nightmare you can't wake up from, erodes your self-esteem, and alienates those you love the most.

In this field, love is a double-edged sword. So why do we keep doing what we do?

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Harumpf, sometime back when mommo was manipulating more..."she said It was my LEGAL job to take care of her"...b/s that her evil sister fed her over the phone to yap at me. Neither one of them went back to the old country to take care of their mom, there where other siblings there to do it. Nice eh? Yep double edged sword is right Ed!
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Love suffers long, is kind, evies not, is not rash or puffed up. Love does not behave unseemly, seeks not their own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil.
Love rejoices not in wickedness but in the truth.
Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13

None of us are perfect but GOD. All we can do is try. We have and will fail on occassion, but we get back up and press on.
We often hold ourselves to a higher standard than GOD does.

I do what I do because I care (ie: caregiver). I also care for myself & my own wellbeing for without my own wellbeing I cannot give.
It's all about the balance & when we get out of balance there is trouble. The keeping of the balance is the challenge & a difficult one. Being loved & cared for helps one love & care for others but there are times when we must rise above ourselves without the benefit of love from any other than GOD. It is enough.
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I learned in freshman high school religion classes decades ago, that "Love is the giving of oneself without expecting anything in return". And when we caregive our relatives, there are times when there is nothing they can give and you wear yourself out. I used the word "intense". But then there are also good to say But the caregiver must also take care of himself or herself first. And if that means hiring help, or moving them to Assisted Living or to a Nursing home, then "it is as it is". We can love them just as much in a nursing home. I always told my mother that I would never put her in a nursing home. But her dementia developed to the point where she needed 24/7 care, and I had to work. I was not able to quit my job and take care of her. I needed an income. She had caregivers 2 shifts and I took the other, til her money ran out, then I had to place her. I went to visit her every day before work and came after work and stayed til her bedtime. I was there 3x/day on weekends.
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I always thought of love as a verb, not a noun. It's no good unless you put feet to it I think. God is my inspiration when it comes to love. He could have left us to our wallowing in sin and eventual hell, He had every right as the creator. But instead He sacrificed his son for a bunch of people that hate Him or choose not to believe in Him at all. That's love to me. That's the action verb kind of love to me.
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