Caught between children not yet gone from the nest and an aging parent who wants his child. Neither lay blame (or even think to do so), but the guilt is there, waiting to pounce in a weak moment. Plus the marriage.
The push-pull of need and the balancing act that is required take its toll. And in a totally unrelated yet totally related way, I miss my mom.
I so wish we all lived together, in one house. Grandparent, children, grandchildren.
But that would undoubtedly bring its own heartaches.
So I take a deep breath and think on my blessings.
All will be well, and all things will be well.
And what happens, happens. I’ve had conversations with my mom about moving closer, moving in with us, or moving into a comprehensive care community, but she’s happy on her independent path, despite it’s risks. An older, wiser friend stepped in when I was going through this with my Dad and said, “What’s the worst that could happen,” and I outlined lots of “I’ve fallen and I can’t bet up scenarios,” and he was like, “and how would that end? And I said, “death.” And he said, “If your father goes into a hospital and gets hooked up to tubes and wires…how does that end.” And I realized the answer was the same. So, in the end, it really does come down to personal choice. My parents wanted to spend as many minutes as possible independent, controlling their own schedule and deciding where and when they wanted to go. That had value.
I think that some of it comes from having those hard discussions and accepting that death is the ultimate end for us all. Yes, hopefully later rather than sooner, but there it is. You have to have the difficult discussions about how things move forward with care takers, assisted living etc… and no matter what choice is made someone will disagree with you and you’ll question yourself, your parents, your relationships, and on and on. Sigh. Of course I am holding onto being in the middle as long as I possibly can because after this the only place left is on the other side and being the next generation to go into the great beyond. So, not ready for that one!