parenting our parents ~ chapter 2

handsLast May I posted Chapter 1 of this thread.  At that point, Mom and I were holding on, for what a lot of the time, felt like ‘dear life.’  Almost a year later, we still often hold hands, as we find ourselves even farther down The Path.  Several months ago, Mom told me if/when she ever needed extended 24-hour in-home care, it would be time for her to move to the Assisted Living section of the Senior Complex in which she lives.  She also let me know that when that time came, she doubted she’d be able to make that decision and was trusting me to make it for her.  We agreed that since neither one of us has ever been 89 before, we’d just both do our best to take The Next Right Step.

That time came, a few weeks ago.  So now, we’re walking the walk, of our promise to each other.  I’m accepting her trust and she’s accepting (with a grace that I can only pray to have if/when I’m 89) her new home and life.

As a former bank trust officer, I’m a big believer in having The Conversation (about the end of life, as we know it).  I’ve made my arrangements and Mom’s made hers.  So now we’re left with Right Now.  For me, Right Now involves spending this week with Mom – taking her to doctors’ appointments and her favorite hair dresser.  It involves stocking her mini-kitchen with yummy treats, her favorite Red Rose Tea, and trying to coerce her to drink more water.  It involves finding shoes that are pretty, will stay on her feet, AND are on sale (Mom’s mfeetain priority) as she learns to walk again.  It involves packing her former apartment.  It involves learning to trust this new community in which she’s living, to care and love her, as I do.  It involves following-up with insurance companies, legal/financial representatives, and the newspaper carrier.  It involves taking time to rest and care for my body, in the midst.  Mostly it involves remembering that at.any.given.moment, Right Now is stopping everything else to ask Mom questions, listen to answers/stories (ESPECIALLY when I’ve heard them all before) and paint our toenails.  So our feet are pretty for where ever The Next Right Step takes us.

I know many of you have been, are, will, or would love to be on a similar journey with one or both of your parents. Godspeed.  And thanks for any lessons you feel nudged to share with the rest of us.  Because we are definitely not alone.

13 thoughts on “parenting our parents ~ chapter 2

  1. You are so fortunate in that your mom agreed to move to a senior living facility first. Both of my parents refused. Daddy died at home but he was never any trouble to help. Mother refuses to budge. So I am across the street, retired on medical disability, running myself into oblivion because she won’t leave her home.She’s not able to leave except for dr appts. We have had this conversation for many years, but the only child stubborness in her wants to think my out of state siblings and I are supposed to maintain the house as it was 20 years ago. I just never will do this to my son! Keep up the wonderful daughtering you are doing!! Love you so much!!

  2. Beautiful reflection, Lisa, of the profound journey we all take in some way. Thank you. Prayers. Leah

  3. Your article covers it all…
    Such a mixed blessing, isn’t it? Knowing the transition is here and will continue, struggling and desiring not to struggle with all of the tasks and to dos. Sending you light, love, peace and healing energy for this journey.

  4. I treasure the memories of our last years with my mom, and so glad you are sharing your treasure with us. Amidst the work of releasing our life, somehow, it seems to expand, and I pray that you both are blessed by all that is RIGHT NOW.

  5. Your ability to be honest with and then hear your mom are priceless gifts.
    (Check out footsmart.com for comfortable, cute shoes.)
    Your body requires you to remember to pause and to rest–not a bad thing, I think.
    And I love the picture of your hands!

  6. Sacred and scary indeed, dear Jean. sharing this walk with you makes ME stronger. 🙂

  7. dear Janet, what a glorious image – of how life expands, as we release it. i’ll be recalling that – often and very grateFULLy.

  8. Brenda, i realize, with profound gratitude, that Mom mad many of these choices before she was no longer able to make them. i send you much strength and love as we both travel This Path with our moms – as best we can.

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