Spark of Hope #69 – The Heart-Matter of National Caregivers Month

Spark of Hope #69 – Since November 1997, every president has issued an annual proclamation for National Caregivers Month to recognize the more than 65 million people providing care for chronically ill, disabled or aged family members or friends; that care is valued at $375 billion a year. Rosalyn Carter noted that “there are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.” I’d add a fourth: momentary caregivers.

Last November, I met Timothy aboard a hotel shuttle ride. He drove me one block during frigid winds that made walking unbearable. During our brief ride I asked about his Thanksgiving plans. He shared that he wanted to go home to family, but that meant having to pass by the hospital and cemetary. Timothy had lost his mother to breast cancer the year before; he shared that he’d been struggling with anxiety and sleeplessness since she died. As we pulled into the hotel, I asked if I might help heal the little boy inside of him with a book I wrote called When Mom’s Cancer Doesn’t Go Away. Timothy turned to face me, with tears rolling down his cheeks as he said, “thank you.” During that ride I seized an opportunity to be a momentary caregiver.  Last night, I called the hotel to ask if Timothy was still driving the shuttle. Indeed he is! I just wanted him to know that I still think of him and that shuttle ride. The heart-matter of National Caregivers Month is every day for 65 mllion people. Reach out and be a champion of HOPE to others–you can make Huge Outcomes Possible Everyday!


Hope is like a spark; if the conditions are right, it can spread like wildfire. Hope feeds the soul, ignites passion, and inspires others. A world without it is like a world without possibility. Tucked inside each of us is a child-like spark that says: never forget to dream, play and imagine. HOPE is the extraordinary spark that says Huge Outcomes are Possible Everyday!

2 thoughts on “Spark of Hope #69 – The Heart-Matter of National Caregivers Month”

  1. Maryann,
    Fantastic view. May I offer that the same comfort occurred for me, a 60 year old man, as Timothy with your book “When Your Dad Goes To War”. The ministry of a caregiver can transcend time and place and even circumstances with books like yours. Blessings to you and thanks.

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