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.