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Need to Laugh? And Cry? Humorous Caregiving Talk on YouTube

Posted Apr 09 2009 7:13pm

One thing family life and caregiving has taught me is that laughing–and crying–go hand in hand.

Life is funny. Even the hard parts. Sometimes the crazier, more chaotic, more challenging times get, the easier laughter comes. Caring for a mom with Alzheimer’s had its moments of off the chart laughs and deep groans of sorrow. Why? Because it’s living on the edge.

So if you need to laugh visit YouTube and watch a short video I recorded of a caregiving presentation titled,

“If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother.” This was recorded at a Caring for the Caregiver Conference in Jacksonville, Florida sponsored by Community Hospice. The room was filled with mothers, daughters, sons, spouses, elder-care professionals–and all of them could relate in one way or another to my story.

In the video, I play both my mother’s and my part. Yes, in case you’re wondering, that’s an authentic Southern accent. It recounts a time of taking my mother to K Mart–one of the countless errands we ran together. Like life, this video encompasses the range of emotions families and caregivers go through every day–the frustration, irritation, sweetness, incessant arguing, tenderness, and you-drive-me-crazy times we face on a daily basis.

I thought, at the time that taking my mom to a zillion places, learning to be patient, learning to be firm when I needed to be and tender when she needed me to be, was more than I could manage. Stress central. In retrospect,  I’m so grateful for that bubble of time we had together. Yes, my mother was grumpy, bossy, and demanding, I was a few of those things myself–and more. But together, we made a pretty good team.

So get a drink, play this short five minute video–and I hope you smile.

~Carol O’Dell,

Author, Mothering Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir

Family Advisor at

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