By Jocelyn R. Montebon
Special to National Parents Day, July 23, 2017
Editor’s Note: OSM! is reprinting an essay written by my mother, Jocelyn R. Montebon, about her experience as the main caregiver to her own mother, my beloved grandmother Genara Rubi (1919-2011) for her Apple a Day Club in Stockton, CA. Six years after my grandmother’s passing on, my mom cherishes her memory and misses her dearly as we all do in the family. Care-giving is not just a profession but a passion. Love makes the caregiver pull the difficult task through.
Stockton – The very challenging job I am doing here in this beautiful country is very much different from my work as an accountant of the top office back in my beloved homeland, the Philippines. I could very well muster numbers and never in my wildest dreams did care-giving occur to me. I may have unknowingly did that job for my family but never for a very sick family member who happened to be my dear Mama.
My Mom had a stroke in 2003 that led me to provide utmost care for her. I have learned to recognize the ups and downs, the satisfaction and frustration of care-giving.
This seemingly plain and simple job is actually difficult and challenging. It is only with constant prayers and support from family, friends, relatives, and the State that I fully coped and understood my importance as care-giver.
Every person who is sick and aging needs comfort, attention and appreciation, respect, and emotional and spiritual support. Because of their delicate condition, a loving care giver is a must. She or he should also be armed with skills and knowledge of this challenging job.
As a caregiver, nothing compares when you see the smile, laughter, and joy of the person you care for. Because of the emotional and physical demands of this job, care givers need the best support system they can get and a decent pay as well.
After nine years of taking care of my dear Mama, she passed away in 2011 at the age of 92. I miss her until now but I am happy that as a daughter I have taken care of her until it was her time to go. I felt like I have paid her back a little bit of the huge sacrifice she made for me and our family. (The writer with her mom, Genara Rubi, during happier times. Photo by Joel Montebon)