the daily grind: caring

This past week I was in Ontario for a couple of days to attend the funeral of an uncle of mine. His name was Andy, and he was 59 years old.  After a two year battle with cancer, he died at home a week and a half ago surrounded by his family.

I wasn’t terribly close to my uncle Andy. He was almost a generation younger than my father. Also, my family never lived in very close proximity to my uncle and his family – growing up we would usually see them once or twice a year. It had probably been 7 years since I had seen my uncle.

 Over the past two years, however, I received regular updates about my uncle’s battle with cancer. As I read those emails, and then as I attended the funeral service last week, one of the things that struck me was the amount of care that my Aunt Lucy provided. Particularly in the last months and weeks of her husband’s life she offered an intense level of care. She comforted Andy, fed him, washed him, gave medicines, cried with him, laughed with him. Caring for her husband was my aunt’s preoccupation, with increasing intensity over the past year. Continue reading