I’ve been trying to write about my Caretakers Quilt for days. I know it came from my experience of taking care of Jon last week when he was so sick with Lyme Disease, but other than that I’m finding it hard to explain all the feelings that came with that experience.
Taking care of someone I love is new to me. I don’t want to sound like I’m whining or complaining or comparing this situation to those people who are taking care of someone with a chronic or terminal illness. But last week I got a glimpse of what that might be like. And it made me so sad that I couldn’t even admit it to myself. Because Jon is 17 years older than me and of course I don’t know, but there’s a good chance I may be taking care of him at the end of his life.
But the beautiful part of it and the only reason I can imagine that my quilt is so bright and cheerful is that I found I really loved taking care of Jon. I’ve met many women and men who have taken care of their spouse or child or parent for years and I never imagined myself capable of doing that. And I know you can’t compare three days to years of illness. In those three days I thought about myself and my work and the practicality of everyday life. But last week I saw a part of me that I didn’t know existed. For the first time in my life I know what it feels like to want to take care of someone, not out of obligation, but out of love. In making the quilt I saw what I was really feeling, it wasn’t the drudgery in caretaking but the beauty of it.