As a little girl, I attended more funerals than most adults today do in their lifetime. A pastor’s daughter in the Midwest, I sat in the front row with my little sister, while Mother sang a solo and Daddy preached the sermon. Mostly I remember the food: Jello salad, fried chicken, mashed potatoes. Yes, and cookies, pies and cakes.
Community, so important in the 50s, has waned. Yet the needs, not just during the time of death, but during extended illness, are still there. How do we cobble together a caring community which allows us, in the words of Scripture, to “bear one another’s burdens?” How do we help caregivers get a break from the important work they do so they can be revived?
Care Calendar is a great help. This program organizes needs so others can meet them. The recipient lists needs: meals, visits, light housework, transportation to medical appointments, etc.. Friends and family sign up on the calendar for the tasks they choose. The program also sends reminder emails a day ahead of the assignment. And each group of helpers has a leader to keep things running smoothly.
I was introduced to Care Calendar when my friend Lupe battled cancer. She needed all her strength for the battle. I did what I could when I could do it. I brought some meals and visited with her. Others filled in other gaps. They cleaned her house, drove her to chemo appointments and stayed with her.
Care Calendar was born when a mother of nine children had a serious illness, and her husband needed a simple, organized way of telling the family’s story and the needs of each family member.
It has so many applications, however, but particularly for the caregiver and the person in need.
What do you think of the CareCalendar idea? Could it help you or your friends?