When The Parent Becomes The Child: Dealing with Aging Parents

I’m sitting on an airplane writing this post, because I’m on my way to West Virginia to see my parents. My father had a stroke several months ago and my mother is doing her best to care for him. He has become feeble, has paralysis in one arm, and has difficulty walking. It is during this phase of life where living far from home leads to more heartache, stress, and yes guilt. After all, they took care of me when I wasn’t able to care for myself. People remind me, “Well you have your own life to live.” I feel that’s a poor excuse for not being there for parents who greatly sacrificed so I could have my “own life to live.” And so the guilt deepens.

As I fly smoothly over what looks to be the Great Lakes I attempt to prepare myself to see two wonderful parents who have grown weary. It’s difficult for me to accept that the two people who gave me a strong foundation have grown weak. And now they need me to guide them. Yes there comes a day when the parent becomes the child, and the irony is…they won’t listen.

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2 thoughts on “When The Parent Becomes The Child: Dealing with Aging Parents

  1. Judith Grayson August 8, 2014 / 12:02 am

    Tony, I have lived thru what you are I embarking on. This is going to be the hardest time in your life. When my parents started needing my help, I was lucky to live in the same city as them. First it wasn’t much. Then it got to be everyday my parents needed me more. They couldn’t drive anymore. They needed help around the farm, house, outside lawn care. Yes I felt guilty for not having the time to spend with them. I too had a family. I also have three brothers who live close by. My parents called on me. My brothers couldn’t be bothered. Watching their decline was really hard. When did they get so old? I must have missed it. Love them. Help them make the hard decisions. Assisted living might work. My parents made me promise that they would die in their home. I was lucky enough to keep that promise. It was a fight with my brother on that one, but she was home. I miss them every single day. Some days every hour or minute. Love them Tony. Your their parent now. Take care of them with love, understanding and patience. It’s a very hard and rewarding road. Good luck. Take care of your self too. Don’t loose yourself.

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