“Who cares for the Carer?”

There are thousands of them out there
Who put their lives on hold,
Who take the time to care for
Those who are sick, troubled or old.

They do it continuously and willingly
And rarely do they complain.
But in their heart of hearts
I know they feel some pain.

They are on duty 24 hours
And answer in a patient way
The very same question
That has been asked fifty times that day.

They lock the doors and windows
And put the knives away
From those who have forgotten,
And oft are in harms way.

They administer medication
And appointments keep on time.
They bring them home from busy roads
And sometimes a railway line.

Sometimes the days are better
Than others have been before,
Then it settles into a routine
And days go on once more.

The agony of caring for a child
As if it were your own,
Whose body is adult in many ways
But whose mind has never grown.

The child you bore and hoped to raise
To be an adult too,
Lingers yet in childhood's mist
And still depends on you.

A loving tender husband
Who now no longer knows
How to tie his shoelaces
And often takes off his clothes.

A wife of many years
Now childlike in her ways.
He has promised to be there
To care for her always.

The agony of friendship lost
In that still and vacant gaze
An awareness of a black space
That fills so many days.

The carers need some care too
Some tenderness and praise.
A hug, a smile a special touch
As they bravely live their days.

They need some respite from their load
So that they can bravely care.
They need to feel supported ~
They need to know we are there.

If you have ever walked this road
Then you will understand ~
This is not the way you wanted things
Nor the way you had it planned.

© Linda J. Vaughan

19th. September 2003

The Pages of Avalon