Celebrating Caregivers: Mwandishi, Connie & PaulineJanuary 25, 2019
Celebrating Caregivers: As we kick off our 20th year, we begin by celebrating caregivers during the month of January. It seems fitting to have these three ladies representing this month, as they were three of the first to participate in Caregiver Support Services at Joy’s House. We’re honored to have supported Pauline, Connie and Mwandishi on their caregiving journey, and we celebrate their dedication to their loved ones, to Joy’s House, and to each other.
It’s strange to think of a time that these three didn’t know each other. When they met at the very first caregiver art therapy session hosted years ago, something magical happened. They just clicked. And they needed to. Each of them cared for their husbands (two have since passed) and felt isolated. A support system, a lifeline, a sisterhood is what they needed and they didn’t even know it.
In Pauline’s words, “Joy’s House became my new adopted family. The quality of care and love shown to us can never be repaid.” Connie is quick to chime in, sharing that for her husband and her, “Joy’s House was a time when it all didn’t seem so wasted. His life had meaning again. And the greetings, smiles and hugs I received on a daily basis put me back together so that I could face another day.”
“For me”, Mwandishi thinks for a moment, “I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. Joy’s House was caring for my husband and that would have been more than enough, but through Caregiver Support Services, they heard my needs and also took care of me.”
What they don’t know is how much joy their families and their friendship have brought to us. And that when we have rough days (and sometimes we do), we can stop and think of them, knowing that the work we do, the love and support we provide, is not just desired, it is critical and life-changing. Sometimes looking at surveys and measurables tells us this and sometimes…it’s a hug from one of these lovely ladies.