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May 19, 2024

There’s nothing quite like caring for someone with challenges or impairments to expose the gunk in one’s soul. Regardless of our best intentions, when selfishness rears its ugly head, our jaws can quickly tighten—and our fists clench.

As a pianist, my hands must always remain open to make beautiful music. As caregivers, what kind of music do we forfeit when resentment curls our hands into fists?

Try pushing a wheelchair with clenched fists. (Not with your loved one in it—use an empty one!) It’s challenging to do so. Clenched fists accomplish few tasks; it seems fighting is the only suitable task for them.

Caregiving will push all our buttons. People who tell you differently haven’t done it long enough. Yet, in those moments when seeing our character defects, we can remind ourselves to unclench our fists—and hearts—and allow beautiful music to flow from our souls.      

Let it hurt. Let it bleed. Let it heal. And let it go. —Unknown