I've been away. When I got back, Thunderbird told me that there were
over 2100 messages in the Wreck. So I took the easy way out and clicked
on "Mark All as Read". I'll likely pick up threads as they continue.
This is a recurrent thread in here because I think many of us are within
+/- 10 years of 60. Which means our parents, if still alive are beyond
the "golden age" and approaching the age where they need care.
My dad died on an operating table a year and a half ago. It was a shock,
but he was mostly able both physically and mentally all the way to the end.
My mother, who survived him, has been going downhill ever since. The
past couple of weeks (the reason for my absence), my sister and I moved
her into a retirement home, but now we’re questioning whether she needed
to instead go directly into a nursing home. She’s 85.
She suffers from a variety of ailments, one of which is going to take
her in the next few months. This is life, and this is death. No amount
of railing or complaining will change that. For me, I’m glad I have
known this woman; she’s the best Mom anyone could ever have hoped for.
After my father died, I encouraged her to keep her house, keep her large
dog, and keep her lifestyle as much as she could. I said those things to
her to so that she could continue living as long as she could. In
retrospect, that may not have been as wise as I had thought at the time.
She started to get sick about a year ago, and spiraled down quickly. It
was too fast for me, and certainly too fast for my 3 sisters who live
out of the country. Now we’re playing catchup, and we seem to be losing.
The place we’ve moved her to doesn’t seem to give enough of the care she
I’m telling this story because I’ve heard it from other people in the
Wreck, and I thought I was prepared. I thought our family was prepared.
No matter how honest they’ve been all their lives, they learn to lie to
you at advanced age. That’s cause they’re scared: scared of moving,
scared of losing their independence, scared of the unknown. So they tell
you all is fine until you realize that not everything is as it should
be. It’s not conscious, it’s not malicious, and it’s not being mean to
their children. It just is.
And it’s our responsibility to try and see through that. And treat them
with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
It doesn’t matter how prepared you think you are. You probably aren’t as
much as you need to be.
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