Perseverence. This is the synergy, the intersection, of being of a working artist and primary family caregiver. Perseverence gets things done. Not easily nor quickly, but in spite of difficulty and rapidity. The pendant illustrating this article earned its name. The design I sketched did not easily come into being. Neither does being responsible for the care of a loved one with a debilitating (and now terminal) disease.
The first parallel is finding answers to unanticipated obstacles. In the case of caregiving these have been in the realms of relationships, medical problems, communications, financial. And so forth. We’re at 10 years and counting and the obstacles change as my mother’s condition declines. For Perseverence, it was a case of engineering the vision. I made a sketch of what I saw in my mind’s eye. But my mind’s eye seems to believe I live in a micro-gravity environment. (It also doesn’t care that seedbead holes are finite and you can pass even the thinnest needle and thread only so many times before that hole is filled, but that’s another story.) When I finally got the whole design beaded and hanging properly, I found that the pendant would flip upside down no matter what kind of cord, rope, or chain I slid it onto.
The vision for caregiving varies but the commonality in all cases is the comfort and appropriate aid for the care recipient. To engineer solutions to problems that arise requires research and communications. Ask for help. Be specific about what you need, be it information or actual hands on relief. Family, friends, and care professionals don’t read minds. Sometimes you might still be stuck, (I am still not sure if I could have got Aid and Attendance for my mother or not), but it often turns out that you will be best off with a second or third opinion if you don’t like the answers you’ve received so far.
When it came to the Feminine Power Pendant, Persevernce, the solution turned out to be quite simple. Add a permanent chain that doesn’t allow the pendant to slide or flip. And make it adjustable (up to 23 inches) with a small bead and loop adjunct.
The lesson here is that all of problem solving comes down to “engineering the vision.” How have you engineered a vision of your own? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.