Cubs Fans Not Only Make Great Caregivers – They Make Great Care Receivers Too

One week ago today, I made the case that Cubs fans make great caregivers. A few days later, one of my readers helped me remember something just as important.

Cubs fans make great care receivers too.

The reader responsible for this maxim is Michael Melinger from Home Instead Senior Care, an organization providing in-home care to older adults. Michael left a comment describing his company's annual outing that brings seniors and caregivers to Wrigley Field for a baseball game. He even sent me a picture from last year’s event.

Courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care

Photo courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care.

I invite you to take a look at this picture. Really look at it. What do you see?

Sitting next to the equally lovely caregiver, I see a woman who has probably been a Cubs fan her whole life. A woman who – just like caregivers – exemplifies selflessness, resourcefulness, resolve and a big dose of faith.

And joy. Oh, just look at the joy.

This annual outing is not only a wonderful example of how to spend quality time with loved ones who need care. It’s also a crucial lesson in personhood.

If you are a caregiver, there may be a Cubs fan within your loved one. And if he or she is not a Cubs fan, I guarantee you there’s a comparable passion – a great love – that has not diminished through illness or disability.

It could be another sports team, or perhaps she is enraptured by the lifeworks of Robert Frost. If he served in the armed forces, his heart may be aligned with military history.

These great loves should be honored and fed through soulful activities. I do believe that when this happens, everybody wins (even if the Cubs lose that day).

The picture above reminds me of my grandma, whose son is my father and the greatest Cubs fan I know. I have fond memories of watching Cubs games at her house while sipping on Pepsi floats. And oh, how she loved Chicago and a day at the ballpark.

When she was in the final stages of dementia, we were not sure whether she knew us or not. She knew our precious dog, but that’s a story for another day. I wonder if she still knew the Cubs. God, I hope so. I’m a Cubs fan, so I draw upon my faith in these matters.

Thank you for sending this picture, Michael, and keep up the Wrigley Field outings. It’s serendipitous that I posted this today since my husband and I are heading to the park this afternoon to watch the Cubs beat the Brewers (note my optimism).

As we sit bundled up in our seats within the Friendly Confines, I’ll look more closely at our fellow fans and remember that there are caregivers and care receivers among us. And as cold as it may get, I’ll know that there is warmth in the hearts of those receiving the chance to celebrate their great love one more time.

Filed under: Finding Meaning

Tags: caregiver, caregiving, Cubs

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