Wednesday, April 6, 2016

When Parents need you

Our entire lives, especially when we are young, we hear stories about people that have to take care of their aging parents. We express our sympathy, but there's no way we could feel empathetic about it until we are in that position.

When we were in our 20s we may have even have witnessed our parents taking care of their own parents. Worrying about them, finding medical care, back and forth to the hospital. We understand it, we care, but really, we didn't get it.

See, the thing that no one ever tells you when you're 25 years old is, the older you get, yeah your parents get older, but they don't seem as old to you as it did when you were 20. The older I got the younger my mother seemed. She seems vital more different than my own grandmother at 75 years old. Of course my own grandmother didn't live to see 75 and her mother didn't live to see 70. I remember my great-grandmother at 65 she had severe dementia.

My own grandmother was in control of her mental faculties up until the day she died.

My mother in her 70s is strong or rather was strong. One day she was complaining that my brother was nothing but a whore while cooking a big dinner, and the next, she's hours from death. A flip a coin. That fast. Reality check.

We see it, but we have a hard time believing it. After all, the parent struggling for their life and that bed was just fine the day before, so there os no reason to believe they won't bounce back. And do so rather quickly. Again, they were healthy 24 hours earlier.

Something happens when were older, something breaks and it's not easily repaired. Like that  old trusty washing machine that you've had for 25 years. You know you keep replacing belts, or fixing this and that, eventually it will go. That is the human body. No matter how hard we wish for it to stay good, it starts to fail. Another reality we must face.

Because we do not want to accept that our parents cannot be 100% where they were, we optimistically visit them. Hoping that each day we walk in that they are better. While they do get better it's not at the pace we want. Days turn into weeks and soon weeks later, we find out that parent needs a little more help than we expected.

It has got to be the most frustrating thing for my mother. I feel for her. It took a while for her to get back to her mental state, almost 3 weeks. Her body just isn't catching up. There are six of us siblings. Each of us trying to cover 24 hour period or as much as we can so she's not alone. It wears us down. Those of us to have the luxury of working from home are those of us who bear the responsibility of taking more shifts. I suppose it's just as difficult on those who working 9-to-5 job. They get up, to go to work, they can go home, change their clothes, go to the hospital, go to bed, repeat. But they go to work. For us that work at home, like me, we go back and forth, deal with things during our work time. Work piles up, when we get home we don't feel like working. Therefore placing us under a hunugnsou pile that we have no idea of how that we cannot dig ourselves out .

I suppose this blog isn't about solutions, not yet, it is about frustration and hardship. If I would offer solutions anyone facing a parent in a hospital waiting for them to get well I'm moving to the next step before they come home, it would be to work together. Keep yourself strong so they can be strong

The last thing you want is for your parents to see that you are struggling. Either physically or emotionally.

My mother is getting out of the hospital after weeks, but she has to go to a skilled care for a few more weeks. After that, she will come to my house, which will begin a whole new way of life for me.


  1. Sending you love because it is so hard. It easily can tear siblings apart. Which is heartbreaking. I am in my car now, but will message you later about a book I want to send you. One of the hardest balances for us was learning how best to keep them safe yet let them still live.

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