When both my mother and father left me and my seven siblings, they left quickly. Dad died of something secondary to advanced diabetes and mom died of a sudden heart attack. Both were very functional and mobile so required no extended care from our family. If there can be a gift in dying, it certainly would be the speed at which we go. Because I know now — in my 50s — it would have been a difficult lift financially and logistically if either required extended and acute care from any of us. I know this now also because I have watched most of my friends fall into the role of caregiver to their parents. It is the heaviest of burdens.
The words “taking care of mom and dad” do not begin to communicate their heavy meaning. It’s not like taking care of children, because they are not children. They are adults who have inside them decades of life that include taking care of us as children. They have years of independence, education, productivity, decision making, babysitting, counseling, mistake-making, mistake-fixing. These senior loved ones have placed their foot into every footprint that stretches across the sands of their time on earth. They have inside them infinitely more “knowing” than those of us now charged with taking care of them. So how do we do it?
Southwest Senior in its 20th year may not have the answer you’re looking for. But we hope our readers do. This marks the first entry into a new blog spot we hope will spark discussions with those who have experienced what others now are going through. We hope to provide anecdotal information through a healthy engagement of caregivers and those being cared for. The most important thing to remember is that each of our stories is important. We may think we have nothing to offer but somewhere out there there may be someone who has found nothing they can relate to with regard to taking care of mom and dad — that is until they read your story and it resonates. Stories don’t have to be BIG to be important.
So here viagracouponcard we go. No hold barred.
Keith Whelpley, Publisher