Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Blogger- Kim

2009 166I’ll start by introducing myself, since I have been invited to be a guest blogger at EnjoyingtheRide.com. I am Kim, wife of Mitch, mother of Amy & Zach, a middle school counselor, and caregiver for my husband of 25 years (in no particular order). These various roles definitely conflict with one another from time to time.

For example, when we moved to southern Maine 11 years ago, I started in my position as a counselor at Cape Elizabeth Middle School. My daughter was a student at the same middle school at that time. Imagine for a moment what it may have been like for me as I simultaneously fulfilled the role of the mother and school counselor of an emotional teenage daughter. Can you envision any situations over a three year span where it may have been difficult to be both people? I probably averaged one situation a day, but thankfully the memories fade over time.

Two other roles I have that compete with each other, even more than being my daughter’s middle school counselor, are being both the primary caregiver and spouse for Mitch. We have been a couple for more than 31 years, and the role of spouse has been one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences of my life. Being the caregiver for my husband, on the other hand, has been one of the most challenging. To be the one who has the sole responsibility of taking care of the maintenance of our home inside and out along with working a full-time job is difficult enough. Beyond this, I sometimes feel like I am on call 24 hours a day, whether it be to help dress my husband, prepare his meals, or to come when he calls my name. I worry about him falling or needing me while I am away. And I also feel guilty whenever I get angry, frustrated, or afraid with what I have to endure in my life, in our lives.

With this being said, many people have asked how I stay so positive, and continue to live life to its fullest. My list of “secrets” is short and much of it mirrors Mitch’s view of the world:

  • Live in the moment as much as possible, trying not to dwell on the past or worry about the future
  • Don’t get drawn into negativity that sometimes finds its way into your day
  • Surround yourself with good people - those who are honest, caring, hard-working & true friends
  • Find the positive in all situations, even if seems tiny & irrelevant
  • Don’t just complain about things; look for solutions whenever possible
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated
To help me fulfill my care-giving responsibilities, more importantly than any of my “secrets” listed above, I recognize how much joy I get from my other jobs: a middle school counselor, the mother of Amy & Zach, and most rewarding - the wife of Mitch.


  1. This is the poem I wrote about caregivers last year, and you definitely came with wings.

    Caregivers are great.
    We are lucky to have them.
    A devoted love.

    They must have had wings
    before they landed on earth.
    It sure seems that way.

    Selfless and giving,
    they smooth the bumpy pathways.
    They soothe our hurts.


  2. Hi, Kim...

    What a pleasant surprise to see your name as guest blogger!

    When it comes to sending positive vibes, Mitch's posts never fall short, even when he isn't doing the writing and has a guest in his place. :-)

    Thanks, Kim. Hope to see you again...

  3. Hi Kim, Nice to meet you. I think that you and Mitch have a wonderful relationship. I see that you have great love and respect for each other. Thanks for stepping in with a great guest post.

    How are you liking your new home?

  4. Your father and I couldn't be more proud of you. It takes a special person to do what you do,and do it well. We love you both.
    Love Mom and Dad

  5. Hooray for you! And for honesty....I (whose husband is as wonderful person and has been bedridden at home for 22 years) really wondered when Mitch made some comment that you didn't mind doing all the things for him. Hope a person wouldn't have to take a rolling pin to his head to let him know when they need a break or at least the chance to vent! Of course a person doesn't mind being the one to do the things, but all humans have limits at times.....Ginny F.

  6. Peace,
    Thank you for sharing your poem :-)

    Glad I could send some positive vibes your way, not sure the post rises to the level of Mitch's, but he has had more practice~

    Mom & Dad,
    Much of who a person is comes from the environment in which they grew up, so you can take at least a little credit for who I am today.
    Love you too :)

    I am enjoying our new home more and more each day. Now that the pictures are on the walls & it is looking more like "home", I can even find a few moments to relax each day :-)

    As I explained to Mitch when I finished writing the post, by providing examples of the difficult parts of being a caregiver, I had to go against some of my "secrets". I did not like creating that list.
    Mitch does let me know how much he appreciates what I do, and if he doesn't I remind him ;)
    I can't imagine how difficult some or even most days must be for you as the caregiver for your husband. Find time to take care of yourself as well, as I know, that can sometimes be as difficult as caring for another.

  7. Thank you Kim for putting this down. I was the primary caregiver for my wife for many years until I lost her to the demon we call MS in Dec. 2008. The trials and tribulations that we as caregivers go through is almost as hard for people to understand as it is for people to understand how a person with MS really feels. I am learning that part myself now and after going through this with my wife I can understand even more of how she was feeling along the way. GOD BLESS to you and your husband and family. Be well and fight on.

  8. Hey Kim (and others who commented) -- Being the principally caregiver for my wife (approx 15 years) since she became wheelchair bound, is wicked hard. Fortunately, like Mitch, my spouse is a big Red Sox fan and ALMOST always has a great disposition. Our division of labor is such that she soldiers on without complaints and I do the kvetching. All we can do is keep on swinging -- knowing that you can't hit 'em out of the park with your bat on your shoulder. You need to stay in the game and not give away any at bats. Thanks for everything,

    Your Friends in Freeport

  9. Hi Kim - thank you for that post. I'm the MSer in our family and I often wonder how my lovely wife of 32 years is really coping. I've only lost ability - she's lost dreams. I'll see if she is up to a guest spot on my blog! Thanks again and hi to Mitch.