Crash Dummy for Caregiving
November is the month we honor Caregivers, and our MARKINC team is delighted to offer help and hope through Chuck’s conversation with Peter Rosenberger. Peter calls himself the crash dummy for caregivers because in his words, “I’ve made every mistake possible and my goal is to help other caregivers avoid those potholes.”
In the introduction of his book, Hope for Caregivers Peter says, “Whatever burdens my fellow caregivers struggle with, I can help. I’m willing to put it all out there.” Chuck starts the conversation with Peter by asking him to share what credentials he has that enable him to make such a bold claim. Peter shares his life-altering story: when Peter married Gracie over thirty years ago, he knew she had some medical issues resulting from a near fatal car accident she was in at the age of 17. The full impact of those issues did not hit him until a medical crisis shortly after their marriage. Suddenly he knew that his life would always center on taking care of Gracie’s medical crises, and that truth overwhelmed him. To this date, Gracie lives 24/7 with excruciating pain, is a double amputee and has had 78 surgeries with more likely in the future. In this conversation, Peter candidly discusses the pressures a caregiver experiences when solely responsible for his or her spouse’s physical needs. He humbly admits that he has made every mistake possible, and is passionate about helping other caregivers avoid those pitfalls. Peter’s sense of humor makes his sometimes tough counsel easy to swallow, and results in hope for the caregiver that is drowning in exhaustion, regrets, anger, grief, and who may be longing for something better.
This resource has been a long time coming. Chuck interviewed Peter last spring and I interviewed his wife, Gracie. Then we discovered we had a bad internet connection that corrupted the sound. Peter and Gracie graciously offered to redo the interviews. Two weeks ago, Chuck and Peter talked while the recorder was running. You will feel like you are listening in on a conversation between two friends, sitting at a kitchen table. Peter puts it all out there, willing to die to self in order to offer help and hope to fellow caregivers. In one of our frequent conversations leading up to this interview, Peter reminded us that there is no "one and done" fix for a caregiver. This is life, and it is often hard. He is in it for the long haul, not only with Gracie, but with any caregiver looking for help. Peter hosts the Hope for Caregivers syndicated radio show and is a sought after speaker. He wrote his book, Hope for Caregivers in an easy to read format, acknowledging that caregivers do not often have the luxury of big chunks of reading time.
Peter and Gracie’s first interviews with us took place right before Chuck’s brain surgery. The Lord used both of their conversations to help equip me to be Chuck’s caregiver when he experienced severe complications after his surgery. When Chuck was unable to speak at our MARKINC Ministries Spring Event, Peter graciously accepted our last minute invitation. Many attendees said that this year’s event with Peter as our speaker was one of our best. Please listen to this conversation between Peter and Chuck and pass it on! It will not only encourage caregivers, but it will also give a glimpse into the life of a caregiver, and how you can help energize and encourage caregivers.
If you have been reading this blog over the summer, you know we’ve been posting from the archives while I have been writing our new Daily Treasure online devotional. We start with Journey to Christmas with the Midwives of the Messiah. I invite you to be just as intentional about preparing your heart for Christmas as you are in preparing your home. Subscribe HERE and in your first devotional that you receive on November 19 will be a link to download a free PDF of Chuck’s book, Harlots and Heroines, The Midwives of the Messiah – an early Christmas gift from Chuck!
Every week one of the women in the genealogy of Jesus will join us on our way to Bethlehem. We will pull back the curtains on their lives and get glimpse into out they experienced the gift that cannot be broken and how we can experience that priceless gift as well. Looking forward to a joy-filled journey!
Treasured by Him,