Written by our Founder and CEO, our Celebrations Pulse Sunday Letters aim to engage with our community. From sharing stories to welcoming your ideas, we want to help you to express, connect, and celebrate the important people in your life.

Caregivers come in many forms. They’re our neighbors, parents, children, partners, friends, and even strangers – professional or community-based – who give of themselves to help those in need.

When we wrote those words back in February, we shared several stories of caregivers and invited you, our community, to share your stories of caregivers who have touched your lives.

Your responses flooded our inboxes, and we were touched by the examples you provided across the spectrum of caregiving. This community clearly cares about caregiving, and we’re humbled to be a part of it. Given the number of stories we received, we thought it was appropriate to devote another Celebrations Pulse to share some of the most moving responses.

Below are those caregiving stories that inspired us, and, we hope, will inspire you. We want to again thank you for sharing and remind you to use your power to let the caregivers in your life about what they mean to you.

Honoring a caregiver to the elderly

Sarah T. shared a story about her mom, who has taken care of many elderly people.

“This caregiver story is about my mom, Tina Marie, who is most certainly the best caregiver God has ever made! Her kindness, caring and love have won the hearts of everyone that meets her and knows her.”

“From family, to friends, to meeting strangers, she treats everyone the same: with so much love and appreciation. We appreciate her for everything she does, because she goes above and beyond for people no matter what their relationship is to her. As a caretaker for mostly elderly people, it can be a difficult and painful job since many of those she has cared for have now passed away; however, for each one, she was by their side the whole time at the end of their lives, and she brought smiles to all their faces.”

With thanks for all you do, Tina Marie.

A friend provides care and helps with healing

Joanne G. wrote about her experience receiving care from a friend after a difficult surgery.

“I had a complicated hernia repair surgery with multiple hernias and was in the operating room for 12 hours and hospitalized for one week before coming home to heal. A very good friend, Rhonda, stepped up and became my caregiver for 31 days during the healing time. I couldn’t have stayed in my own home without her help. She is married with an adult son, and she has her own family to care for, but the family agreed to manage without her for as long as I needed her. I am forever grateful to her and her family for their kindness and care. My cat Tova is grateful too and made a new friend. I ordered a Valentine’s basket from Harry and David to say thank you to Rhonda.”

Thank you, Rhonda.

A friend provides care and helps with healing

Joanne G. wrote about her experience receiving care from a friend after a difficult surgery.

“I had a complicated hernia repair surgery with multiple hernias and was in the operating room for 12 hours and hospitalized for one week before coming home to heal. A very good friend, Rhonda, stepped up and became my caregiver for 31 days during the healing time. I couldn’t have stayed in my own home without her help. She is married with an adult son, and she has her own family to care for, but the family agreed to manage without her for as long as I needed her. I am forever grateful to her and her family for their kindness and care. My cat Tova is grateful too and made a new friend. I ordered a Valentine’s basket from Harry and David to say thank you to Rhonda.”

Thank you, Rhonda.

Hearing from caregivers themselves

We also heard from several community members who provide care for others. Deleisa D wrote:

“My caregiving duty began 14 years ago when I took care of my husband who had cancer at the age of 40. I was a manager at Church’s Chicken at the time, and I had to quit my job to care for him along with our two kids. After his passing, I took the class to become a Certified Nurse Assistant.

“Later, I became my auntie’s caregiver (until she passed) and my brother’s caregiver (until he passed). Presently, I’m working in my field with 25 people at an adult daycare senior center. I love what I do, which is primarily providing comfort, compassion, kindness and passion to those in my care.”

With thanks for all you do, Deleisa.

Kim K. told us about how she is providing care to her elderly father:

“I am an only child in my mid-fifties and lost my mother seven months ago. My 84-year-old father has dementia and requires supervision. Thus, my husband and I made the decision to move him into our home, and I left my job, and my career in banking, to care for him.”

“It’s taken a toll on my family, but we are starting to come together again, starting to enjoy moments together. There is a lot of unknown ahead of us because of his unpredictable condition.”

“I just wanted to thank you for bringing the subject of caregiving up. As people live longer this issue of aging and caregiving will affect every family. I only wish I had prepared better for it.”

With thanks for all you do, Kim.

Finally, we heard from Cheryl, who is part of a group of caregivers who meet once or twice a month in Peachtree City, Georgia. They all have spouses or significant others who have Parkinson’s Disease:
“Those of us who are privileged to care for our loved ones are thankful to people like you who recognize our work and our love.”

With thanks for all you and your group do, Cheryl.

We welcome you to submit stories about caregivers you know at any time. Like Cheryl said above, it’s important for us to recognize all the work that is done by caregivers, many who go about their tasks in quiet determination.

Thank you to all caregivers!

All the best,

Chris and Jim

Author

Jim McCann is the founder and chairman of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. as well as a business leader, author, and philanthropist with a passion for helping people deliver smiles. Devoted to helping others, he also founded Smile Farms, a 501(c)3 organization that provides meaningful jobs in agricultural settings to young adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

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