One of our guests on the Elderhood Project reminded me that at some point in time everyone will be either a caregiver or a caregetter. I am learning the truth of that statement.

Last week, Mrs. Matthews—Linda Coble— had back surgery. The doctor was pleased with the results and four days later, she came home from the hospital. The doctor said to me, “This will be tougher on you than it is on her.” In some ways, he was right. I watch her like a hawk so she won’t do anything she’s not supposed to do during recovery. I bring home the groceries, vacuum, do the dishes, laundry. But in another way, the doctor was wrong. It has been a meaningful experience.

There is a kind of intimacy Linda and I haven’t had before. We always trusted each other, but there is a different kind of trust happening now.

She will be fine. The doctors and nurses who took care of her did a wonderful job and I learned a lot. And there will come a time when the shoe [which I have to put on for her because she can’t bend over yet] will be on the other foot.

We are into the holiday season, Thanksgiving just past. Care receivers are grateful for their caregivers, but caregivers in turn are grateful for the opportunity to look after their loved ones. I leave you with this quote:

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. ~Johannes A. Gaertner

Peace and Aloha — Kirk Matthews

Elderhood Project airs on KHON2 every Thursday morning on the morning news and Thursday afternoon at the 5 p.m. segment — topics from medical to senior life care and tips.Visit us at