I belong to several support groups, but one is very special: eight women, all of whom are caring for someone with memory loss. Six of us for our husbands, two of us for moms. I feel so lucky to have found this unique collection of women: they are strong, funny, compassionate, tough, smart, wise - I can't sing their praises enough. We first met in 2006 through a program designed for people with memory loss and their caregiver; the program included, for those with memory loss, working with a teacher on cognitive enhancement, a support group for those with memory loss and one for the caregivers, and some social activities. That program was supported by a grant which lasted eight months. When the grant ran out, the program was over. But the caregivers had gotten so close during the eight months that we decided to keep on meeting on our own.
We meet twice a month for a couple of hours in the evening. But because of how the Mondays and holidays fall in December and January, we were going to have a 4 week break between meetings. And someone suggested that we get together for lunch sometime during that break, because our time together is that important. While we discussed where would be a good spot, as we are scattered across the city and suburbs, one suggested we accommodate one of our members who is going through radiation treatments. That we find a spot close to her or where someone could easily pick her up so she wouldn't have to drive. We settled on her home, and we brought the food. All she needed to do was open the door - we set the table, provided the food, and cleaned up afterward.
It was good. Really good. Just what we all needed.