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Kelly Mclaughlin

Brief info

I’d like to tell you that it was or is my calling, but the truth is it was the Caregiver job that was available the quickest for me.

What I’ve received from working in this field is not easily replaceable with most other jobs. I’ve had the honor of being in people’s homes, in their personal space. I’ve often thought how difficult this must be. I’ve put myself in their shoes and wondered what it must be like to have strangers come into your home, touching your things – being in your personal space. When you realize how small many of their worlds have become, some losing the ability to drive, walk, come and go as they once did, you realize how important it is to appreciate the here and now because one day we all will be, in one way or another, walking down the same path. They give me the ability to always see my cup as half full, no matter what I may have going on.

I don’t know that being a Caregiver is “my calling”. What I know is that I somehow landed here 3 years ago, and what I’ve been given from each person I have met far outweighs what I think I’ve ever given them.

I get to hear stories from WWII, The Great Depression, and how one client’s father eventually committed suicide, after losing everything, and how at 13 her mother had to raise her and her siblings on her own. Stories from one client who, “met the love of her life” at the age of 75, and how they only had 10 years together before his passing. The lady who tells me what it was like to raise 4 boys, one being handicapped, and how difficult that was back before we had the kinds of places we have now to help with such kids. Watching that same woman, who struggles with memory loss, visit that child in a caregiving home, and how a mother’s love never changes, regardless of her own barriers.

I don’t know how I am positively making a difference in their lives. I can only tell you that they each have changed mine, in the way I think about life, and how I see myself. How I hope that I can be half as accepting when I too come to this late stage in life. They give me much more than I have ever given them.

I have gone and done other things since I became a Caregiver, and I continue to grow in the Caregiving field. I also teach now, and I’ve begun doing my pottery again, so I have many other things that keep my life fulfilled, but I know my life would not be the same had I not found my way to this agency. Many things would have turned out very differently without the Caregiver Job that I’ve had over these last 3 years, and I would have missed out on so much without having met the people that were put into my life.