Typically, an angel is defined as a celestial being of guiding influence which acts as an intermediary between Heaven and Earth. That’s the belief of those who follow the edicts of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism. Angels are portrayed conventionally in the image of a human figure with a halo and wings. Moreover, an angel is recognized as a kind person who manifests goodness, purity, and selflessness. My sister, Janice Raiford Shaw, is an angel.
Janice is one of 45 million caregivers in the United States who currently provides unpaid care for an adult family member or friend. These caregivers are present in some 23 million households across America. Their task is daunting.
A typical caregiver, like Janice, performs an average of thirteen individual tasks on a daily basis. These duties include managing finances, shopping, planning and preparing dietary meals, juggling housework and performing a variety of nursing duties for which the caregiver may not be professionally equipped. These angels of mercy spend well over 25 hours each week caring for another adult. In Janice’s case, she assumed the responsibility of caring simultaneously for our aging mother, our elderly uncle and for our very sick brother.
In August, 2008, Janice put her own family life on hold to remain at the bedside of our brother, Conny, who departed his life on May 12, 2009. Thereby, it is befitting that on the day our beautiful brother entered the spirit world that I honor my wonderful sister. Thank you, Janice, for putting to task the role of a Christian woman. You are recognized and appreciated as being an extraordinary sister, daughter, wife, mother, aunt and cousin — setting a fine example for others to follow.