The Stroke Network, Inc. )

People to Admire

By Marty Arlen



When I was in kindergarten, I admired Luke Azzarito. You see, when arts and crafts time around, Luke would eat most of the paste in his jar. I thought that was cool. I figure by now he's passed away from hardening of the arteries.

There was always some teacher who gave an assignment on writing a paper on people we admired. George Washington, Abe Lincoln and Ben Franklin were favorites. As time went on, there was JFK, Hugh Hefner (he has nothing on me now. I can wear pajamas all day if I want to), the person I worked for making the big bucks, or the neighbor who had a corvette and some antique cars. As time continued, I admired the person who had retired and was enjoying the "golden years".

After meeting many people recently and reading the many posts on The Stroke Network, I find I really admire the true heroes............the many caregivers out there.

As a survivor, I lost my life as I knew it in a split second. Making a comeback required having someone who cared around me 24/7 until I could function somehow again. Now I think they should take the negativity out of the wedding vows. Instead of "for better or worse" it should read " for better and much better."

Now caregivers come in all ages, national origins, education, and physical stature. They are generally family members of a survivor, who also had their lives changed and turned upside down without warning. Your husband isn't the same, your wife is not the woman you married, you fear for your parents, or your child was robbed of their future. While we survivors are trying to get better, caregivers are worrying, planning, and preparing to do whatever is necessary to handle the additional responsibilities. Somehow, it eventually falls into place.

I am fortunate. My wife has been a rock since January 2004. I probably would not be doing as well as I am if she weren't by my side. Push all the politicians, overpaid movie and sport celebrities, corporate CEO's, and other so called important people into a corner and make plenty of room for the true heroes...........the caregivers.

Gee, I wonder where I would be today if I had eaten the paste with Luke Azzarito in kindergarten?  

Copyright November 2005

The Stroke Network, Inc.

P.O. Box 492 Abingdon, Maryland 21009

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