Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Easing Toward Sunset

These are not easy times as my mom advances through her 80's. Physically, she's frail, weighing less than 90 lbs. Mentally, every day brings more confusion to her daily routine, as brain cells no longer work as they once did. Mom has trouble doing the normal stuff of life now. She knows it, too, and it's driving her nuts - adding stress to the situation.

I'm pretty much her caretaker now. Two of my siblings live hours away. My sister teaches school in the area and will give me some help this summer. It's weird. Mom used to never call me. But as soon as we sold her car early this year, she has called me daily, often several times a day. I help her with bill-paying and grocery shopping.

Mom is troubled by the fact that she needs such assistance. She's always been fiercely independent and a real can-do person. When I leave her after a visit these days, she apologizes until I finally have to cut her off. She probably never thought she's ever need to lean on others. (I know I feel that way...pretty foolish of me).

I can't say I enjoy the "inconvience" this has caused me. But when I consider the mountain of love, care, and attention she has given me the last 59 years, I realize I'll never be able to run enough errands to tilt the balances my direction. What a blessing that she and Dad had four kids, with two of them close enough to be of help to her! I shudder to think where she'd be without us right now.

So I thank God that I'm able to "return the favor" as it were. Couldn't happen to a finer lady.


Lynn Leaming said...

Steve and I are experiencing the same thing with both of our parents. It is so hard watching them grieve the loss of their independence. It makes it even harder when they realize what is going on. Like you, we are blessed to be able to care for them the best we can. I just keep reminding myself that I will want someone to be kind and loving (not irritated with me) when I get that age!

Noella said...

I agree, Tim, and also with your comments, Lynn. Both my parents are gone now, but I have the precious memories of a lifetime as well as the bitter-sweet final years when I (the child) became the 'parent'.

Without knowing God and His great love for us through His Son, Jesus, some of the pain in both parenting and caring for our aging parents would have been just that - pain, but there is much in the journey we know as His blessings to us.

God bless you on your journey, Tim.