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This Caregiver Helped Her Husband Continue His Photography Following a Stroke

Judy Spence found that a sense of gratitude and helping her husband continue to pursue photography after he suffered a stroke made all the difference.

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Hi, Guideposts. My name’s Judy Spence and this is my story.

I became a caregiver back in 2014 when my husband had a stroke. Pretty much now I help him do everything. You know, as a caregiver, you can become so wound up with just doing the things that need to be done. That burns you out, for one thing, and sometimes it can make you a little resentful.

So probably about two years ago, Joe got to the point to where he really couldn’t photograph anymore. And that’s his passion, photographing. And we’ve done that ever since we’ve been married. So I was trying to think of something that would keep him interested in photographing and still give us some time together.

So I thought, you know, he can’t drive. I can drive. He has a camera. So I decided that we would go out either to a park or to one of the lakes and find a place that’s really pretty. And there’s a lot of fun places that we can let him photograph. And that has pretty much, that’s our everyday, almost everyday occurrence now is for a couple of hours every afternoon, we get out and we let him photograph.

You know, trying to remember the things in the past has really helped me to become a better caregiver because I don’t dwell constantly on, “Okay, what do I need to do next?” or, “When is his next medicine?” or whatever. So it’s good to have those memories.

Also just to know that we are so blessed, so very blessed. You know, it’s so easy to think, “Oh, my life is the pits. It’s not what I expected it to be.” And it’s not what I expected it to be. But all I have to do is look around a little bit, and I’m so grateful. And so I just thank God every morning that he’s still able to get around, that we’re still able to have a marriage and have a partnership and do fun things with each other but mainly remember all those good times that we had. Just, you know, just remember what it’s like to be young.

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