Caregiver Contest Runner-Up Winner: Kristine D.

03/24/23  11:29 AM PST

Congratulations to Runner-Up winner Kristine D. from Fairfield, California.

How Has Caregiving Changed my Life:

I first came to America in 2013 and I was 27 years old.  My coming here was mainly to marry my boyfriend who is now my husband and the father of my lovely daughter Sab who is turning 4 years old this December.
I am the youngest among 5 children and for all the years I was in the Philippines I was the one who received the caring and attention of my parents and my older siblings ,little did I know that I will end up being the one to give the much needed personal time and care to my aging parents in law.
I started as cashier / busgirl in a restaurant and 5 years later, after giving birth to my daughter, my parents in law started to get sickly so i resigned from my job because there was no one to attend to their medical needs -from driving them to the hospitals for their medical check ups, running errands for their personal needs.  Until their bodies became weaker due to other illnesses due to old age.
My father in law passed away a year ago of dementia and my mom in law is left to my care currently on her dialysis.
I am now 36 years old, and looking back caregiving changed my outlook in life a lot. I realized that it is okay to give up the chance to earn more money for yourself and the family if the purpose is to attend to aging persons -especially if they are part of the family. Now, I would opt to stay home to look after my in laws when they are not in their best condition than go out with friends for a drink or two in a bar -which when i was much younger would not be easy to imagine I would do.  I am now an expert in changing diapers not only for babies for adults as well. I also started to mature thinking how aging can make someone less active so at my young age I value health and physical, mental well being above all else. I gave up earning for myself from the self-imposed task but what is money if I turn my back to the persons most dear to my husband. Taking care of my parents in-law could probably second best reason why my husband knows that I love him dearly next to being the mom of his daughter.

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