Cheryl W.
Grand Prize Winner
Cheryl’s Story

I hold her frail hand, the joints swollen and sore from the cold north winds. I kiss it gently as I remember it fashioning gingham into the new pinafore I proudly wore. The memory long buried, her tired hand rewarded me with the thought. I brush her thinning hair, soft and silver as I remember her braiding mine at the start of each day. Standing in front of her dressing table, I would watch her sure hands weaving my braids. I squirmed in anticipation of playing outside, when she had banded my red braid. I am so happy I can make her hair smooth and tidy as she did mine. I am rewarded with joy that I can help her as she did me.

While cooking the chicken in her cast iron pan, I pray to the Lord she will eat tonight. She doesn't like to eat much anymore. I remember her home made egg noodles alongside her chicken fried so perfect: oh why had I not thought to ask for her recipe when she still could remember. "How was it Grandma you could bake biscuits so crisp and golden brown on the outside, yet so tender on the inside?" She looks at me with her blue eyes not connecting, lost behind them and asks, "What is a biscuit dear?"

As we talk through the day, I respond to her question. It's the question she always asks, sometimes three or four times each hour. The same question, though I will vary the answer to add interest to her day. My patience is rewarded with the memories of long drives to her and Grandpa's farm as a child. "How much longer Grandma till we get to the farm?" Gramps and her would chuckle and say yet again, "Just a few more miles Rusty, just a few more miles." Only a mile would pass before I asked this again.

I pray each night for strength and wisdom to guide her through the coming day. I am tired and worried. She looks so small on her sofa, as her ninety-nine year old frame rests under covers. I am rewarded with the precious memory of her tucking me into the old feather bed. Grandma would help me recite the bed time prayer as I folded my small hands into the church and the steeple. "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep." I felt safe, warm and comfortable. I look again at Grandmother, rewarded with the knowledge she is safe, warm and comfortable.

Thank you, dear Father for the strength and wisdom to walk with Grandma through the garden in search of her reward, her rest with you.


Shield HealthCare recognizes the dedication and daily challenges of caregivers. Our annual caregiver story contest on “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?” is a special way to honor caregivers and provide an encouraging forum to share inspiration. Whether you are a family caregiver or a home health professional, we welcome your story about the rewards of being a caregiver.
Top 3 Story Winner Prizes
  • $500 American Express Gift Card
  • One-year subscription to Today's Caregiver Magazine
  • Commemorative Wall Plaque
Top 5 Runner-up Prizes
  • $150 American Express Gift Card
  • One-year subscription to Today's Caregiver Magazine

The 2014 Caregiver Story Contest officially ended on 11/30/14. Winners will be notified on 12/19/14.

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ALL contest entrants will receive an "I Care" heart lapel pin!