The Joy & Learning of becoming a PCA

 

Me in Philly 11/18 with Liz

About four and a half years ago, a friend at church asked me if I could think of someone appropriate to recommend for a special job. I said I would pray for that urgent request, and I did, but I also kept feeling a gentle, insistent nudge – a soft persistent tapping on my shoulder. I clearly heard God say, “YOU take the job!” … and so I did and have never regretted that decision that has led to unfolding adventures and blessings galore! 🙂 ______________________ 

I started out as a very part-time P.C.A. (personal care attendant) – first working only 2 hours, then eventually 2 days a week, then doing 2 shifts somedays (morning + evening), now working each weekday. On the one hand, my daily jobs are still much the same = cooking, cleaning, shopping, helping with bathing and dressing, laundry, correspondence, running errands, shopping, etc. You know, all the ‘stuff’ of life! But, on the other hand, you never know what each day will bring … Love the fun stuff like walking to the park, climbing on the playground, going to the Library or coffeehouse or restaurant, playing in the yard (in the leaves, in the snow, in the puddles) plus the harder stuff like going to the doctor’s office, physical therapy or even the E.R. – wherever we have to go there we go. The tasks have changed as the family I serve changes – ages, stages, situations. The key is to be flexible! Great lesson to practice! 

I consider it a sacred trust to be a p.c.a. – important to keep safe space of confidentiality, trust, intimacy – because of what I do, I am in close proximity to the family I care for on a daily basis. Entrusting me with increasingly intense specific tasks, as my Boss felt more confident and comfortable with me and our interaction, we go deeper into more ‘risk’, more adventure, more value. Each time I have been asked to try something new, I confess I have been a little nervous with fear of failing. What I have learned, over and over again, is that I am not 100% responsible – I only am there as a helper, supporter, extra pair of hands/feet/legs/eyes. My Boss wants to be independent! I can only be truly “helpful” if I only help as I am asked. 

**We joke, but also are serious, as the Boss says “Don’t think! Just do what I say!” (because a way that I think is ‘good’ may not work from her perspective – literally!) Silly, but reality, of me, intuitively pushing everything to the far back of the counter or fridge or shower seat or bedside table or bureau … to be corrected to keep stuff reachable close to edge! I am a slow learner, but the Boss is very patient with me and perseveres teaching me soo much. I appreciate her investing in me to make me a better p.c.a. plus a more aware, educated person, with the added bonus of becoming a dear friend. She blesses my whole family (my 2 daughters have also worked for her through the years and still visit) and includes us on holidays and special celebrations. So glad I get to be a p.c.a. to this wonderful family!

 

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