(Click picture for SOUND)
I just returned home (Chicago) from spending a week in my hometown back in Alabama. Wow, you don’t realize how different things are there and how what a slower pace life is. The only way to describe it is it’s as if “Time stands still.”
Somehow we always have it in our minds that Mom and Dad are always going to be themselves, experiencing the same likes and dislikes and mannerisms and that will always be able to do the things they’ve always been able to do. However, things change as they become older and because you aren’t there day after day to see them, you sometimes think “What happened to Mom and Dad?”
For instance my Dad, who just turned 81 last October, was in the kitchen trying to open a jar. He was shaking so badly and having the hardest time so I went over and said, “Here, let me help you with that!” He jerked the jar back and was very offended because my he has always been the one to do the “manly” things around the house. I was making him feel as if he was no longer needed to do those simple things, without even realizing it. He didn’t even have to say it, I could feel that was exactly what was taking place.
Even my Mom who just turned 72 seems to be turning into this weird version of my Grandmother (who was a constant complainer and seemed agitated more in life than not). My Mom has never been this way. I thought to myself, how did this happen? Why can’t they stay the same?
The reality is that things change, people grow older and even though this disturbs our little “perfect view of the world” it is just a fact of life. Somehow we have to continue giving them respect and that entails allowing them to continue to do the simple things they have always done and not always coming to the rescue.
It’s difficult and quite challenging for us but we should give them the dignity they fully deserve.
While I’m with them I try focusing on enjoying the moment because I will never have that moment back, ever again and I always leave with tears in my eyes thinking “This could be the last time I ever see them.”
With that in mind, I want to live life with no regrets and so far, so good!
Here is a picture of me, Mom and Dad.