Beanery Online Literary Magazine

January 28, 2010

How to Give Support to Caregivers




It’s not just about the person who has that disease (whatever it may be), but everyone who loves and cares for that person.  —Leeza Gibbons*

     In today’s world of expensive nursing home care, low or no insurance, and the worry of finding a good home for a loved one, more and more of us find ourselves becoming a caregiver in our own home.
     I’ve found through my last five years, as my husband’s a caregiver,  that often my friends will call to ask how he is, what he needs, if they can stop by to visit him. What they don’t think, or don’t realize, is that maybe they can help me too. 

     Care-giving is a non-stop job. It never ends—not when the person is asleep, not when they are in the hospital for something, not ever.  The home caregiver and the patient are always one – they become one as both lives revolve around each other, totally dependent on each other. As a result, my friends who have lost their spouse, after care-giving them at home, find themselves completely lost for quite some time. 
     What I find helpful is if friends and family understand that the caregiver is not just someone who takes care of the ill person.  The caregiver still exists as an individual, with needs of their own that often go unmet. 

     If it takes a town to raise a child, it surely takes a country to care for the ill.       

     Everyone, including you, knows someone who cares for an ill relative. And everyone, including you, can offer much more than help to the patient.  You have the ability to lighten the burden of the caregiver, to realize that no matter how much they love the person they are caring for, it is a burden—one they grasp onto willingly, and with the hope that they are giving the best care to this person that they could ever get.


     With this in mind, I have a few tips for those of you who visit a home where there is a caregiver.
     First, when you


April 28, 2009




Sal Martin


     Another sleepless night. The third action hero has won out over the bad guys. The same news report has been reported for the hundredth time. I have memorized the weather into next week, not that it matters to me. I’m not going anywhere. I have an emphatic limp. I walk with a “walker” while my new knee heals. I try to show gratitude that such miracles are available for me instead of the rocking chair and cane that would have been my fate (more…)

March 21, 2009

Finding Ben




     A press release on Finding Ben states, “Everyone needs love and affection—no matter what. For any parent who has ever experienced disappointment in their child’s failures comes Barbara LaSalle’s Finding Ben: a Mother’s Journey through the Maze of Asperger’s.
     Finding Ben is an honest portrait of parental love. Written in novel form, the book tells the story of what it is like to suffer from what the author calls ‘disappointed mother (more…)

March 6, 2009

Path to Peace


PATH TO PEACE  Path to Peace


     Let me live to raise my five children, I pleaded with God. Let me find peace, I prayed. Only twenty-nine, I was shocked to find that Hodgkin’s disease had invaded my body. I felt I was too young to die. I thought no one could raise my children as well as I. “At least let me live until my eldest could help the little ones and my youngest could remember to brush his teeth,” I prayed.
     Little things surfaced, hit me in the face. I took delight in the rising sun, the distinctive smell of rain, the beauty and aroma of rose petals, the smell of fresh cut grass, the fortitude of old maples, the magnificent blending of pinks and violets in the sunset over Lake Erie, and my children’s smiles bright and wide. All these things became (more…)

August 1, 2008




—written by Barb


     The sun shone brightly on this mid-September day, although the gentle breeze had to it a hint of fall. The blue sky was unbroken by clouds. The mountainsides were just starting to don their fall apparel of crimson and of gold.


     Thirty-one year old Rachel Graybill sat on a bench, deep in the woods on the grounds of the Somerset (Pennsylvania) Historical Society. The society’s annual Mountain Craft Days arts and crafts festival was in full swing. Rachel munched on a homemade maple sundae as the river of show patrons ebbed and flowed around her.


     Rachel loved coming here. She enjoyed dressing (more…)