The Surprise Caregiver

Butterfly among summer flowers

If you then...know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!—MATTHEW 7:11 (NIV)

When I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in my early teens, my mother was my caregiver. There was never any question about the matter. It was Mom who arranged my appointments and traveled with me by train to the Cleveland Clinic. My dad…well, he was just the one who drove us to the train station.

Then I recently discovered something in an old drawer that changed my long-held assumptions. On a crumpled scrap of lined notebook paper, in my father’s scratchy handwriting, I read these long-ago words: “Honey, I miss you so much. When you get home, you will find the air has been conditioned for you.”

“What does that mean?” I had asked Mom. She only shook her head.

When the two of us returned home, Dad couldn’t wait to escort me and my little cardboard suitcase to my bedroom at the top of the stairs. It was a sweltering 90-something degrees out, and I looked forward to the hall window fan that would at least move some air around. But was I ever in for a surprise! Dad had worked overtime to install air conditioning. “I know how the heat makes you sicker,” he said.

It was a stunning reminder that my father was absolutely a caregiver too, one who watched over me and cared deeply about my needs.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, bless all the caregivers who help us in ways we don’t always see.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts