Very often we focus on the ones who need our assistance, but we don’t take a moment to consider the people who spend their entire days and lives assisting others: the mom who patiently calms the tantruming juvenile who can’t speak; the dad whose hands push the wheelchair tirelessly; the grandmother who patiently manicures the nails of her own elderly mother. The caretakers with perma-smiles plastered on their faces never ask for assistance, never appear to need aid, and never cry out in frustration when their needs are routinely subordinated.
Caring for ailing or handicapped loved ones is not a thankless duty; however, the thank you’s often come from within. The caretakers feel gratitude for being able to care for their loved ones. Parents feel gratitude for the child they’ve been given – handicap or no handicap, and gratitude that their bodies are able to perform the physical tasks required of them. Children feel gratitude that they are able to provide the care for their ailing parents that their parents provided for them at an earlier time. Spouses are thankful to be alive to care for their partners, so their children won’t have to assume that full responsibility. And everyone around them feels thankful that the caretakers have taken the burden upon themselves without asking for assistance. People pat them on the back for all they do, and then merrily wave goodbye and proceed with their own lives unburdened.
These are the selfless heroes who keep the world revolving for those who exist in it, as well as those who don’t. The autistic children who inhabit a world of their own depend on those caretakers. The Alzheimer’s patients who are gripped with confusion are calmed by them. Only the caretakers themselves truly understand the depth of importance in everything they do for those they care for. While the rest of the world nods their head in approval at the obvious sacrifices being made, the caretakers see the beauty in every small gesture of kindness they provide to those they’re caring for, and that is the heart’s way of saying thank you for showing love to someone who can’t say thank you.