The Caregivers Support Group is held twice a month at a large, relatively new, Senior Center (adult day care facility) not far from where I live.
I knew the place well because I’d brought Miss Cathy there when I was trying to find a social outlet for her; thinking it was a perfect place for her to go to get out of the apartment, engage in some new activities and possibly make some new friends.
My attempt(s) to keep her mentally and physically active were met with much resistance; unfortunately, she was having none of it.
We fought back and forth about what she should best do with her time, I thought she should be engaging in life (while she was still relatively healthy and cognizant) but her wish was to stay home and watch actors on TV participate instead (while her muscles atrophy and her reasoning diminishes by lack of stimulation).
But, that’s ‘blood under the bridge’ as they say-‘her choice-her journey’, as I say.
If she didn’t want to avail herself of what’s right down the road (that’s positive and life affirming) that didn’t mean I had to follow in her stead (being negative and a ‘Debbie-downer’), if anything it’s serendipity that the facility that I thought was there to help her ends up being a place for me.
I arrived early for the 10:00am meeting, which is held the first Tuesday of every month (a perfect time for me since I’m freelance and don’t have a “Job-job”) the second meeting being at 5:30pm on the third Thursday.
I stopped at reception, asked for the meeting room then walked through the large atrium, looking through the glass fronted French doors into the great room where seniors were playing board games and other activities, past the exercise room with state of the art machines and equipment, peeking into the crafts room and library thinking what a pity Miss Cathy wasn’t here enjoying all of this (oh well) before finally arriving at a large multi-purpose room at the end of the long hall.
The room was peopled with card tables and chairs, and there was the soft murmur of conversation in the air.
I walked in, took an available seat and settled in, then I realized I was about to share my most intimate feelings with a group of strangers.
As I looked around the long table (made up of putting several of the smaller ones together) I noticed that my fellow caregivers were all female, they appeared to be a mix of middle-class mothers, wives and daughters, not unlike women you’d see at any upscale mall in America, or at “Curves”.
They were mostly middle aged (like myself) and mostly white (unlike myself), I sat there wondering to myself what in the world I could possibly have in common with this bunch (other than the obvious of course)?