The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 7, 2013

Your View: Caregivers deserve praise and support

By Mary O'Sullivan, Mankato

— Thank you, Robb Murray, for sharing Jim and Judy Roe's beautiful love story, and Jim's journey through caregiving.

These quiet heroes like Jim are providing care for their loved ones throughout our community. Through God's grace, Jim has grown in his role as caregiver and, is "ready to accept who she is today."

Caregiving can be demanding yet fulfilling. But it can also leave caregivers feeling isolated and unprepared for their role.

Probably most of us know  someone who is a caregiver. There are many ways we can show our love and support in very concrete ways:   Do some of their errands; meet them for a walk, or coffee, or lunch; call them; invite the caregiver and their loved one to your home for dinner. Shovel their snow. Clean their house. Bring over a meal. Invite them to church. Stay with a caregiver's loved one so they can, garden, work at their desk, read, buy groceries, get a haircut or simply take a nap.

Murray not only accomplished a fine piece of journalism, he performed an important public service. He provided insight into the life of a caregiver, and  let other caregivers know that it's OK to ask for help.

As Jim Roe said, "As a caregiver you're facing your limitations. You have to understand you're a human being and accept the fact that you can't meet this person's needs all the time. You can fool yourself into thinking you're something you're not. But this process brings you really close to realizing who you really are."

I am grateful that Jim experienced the grace to know this.

I say to both Robb Murray and Jim Roe, well done.