Some days you just start off with that special feeling. Today was one of those. In truth, the first thing I felt was pain today but regardless of that, the special feeling I was talking about was the creative juice and ideas. Both were flowing this morning. The excitement was flowing through the bloodstream.
When I look at each day as an opportunity I get excited. That is hard for me to do consistently and therefore I do waste some time with the wrong attitude. But today won’t be one of those.
A lot of memories have been resurfacing lately due to the transition my mother and father inlaws are making. The move to a senior living facility from their longtime home. My Mom was in her home for at least 45 years. And I remember the difficulty in the move. I think her parents might have topped that number of years in their home. I can’t and can imagine the thoughts going through their minds. I could see it in their faces in the memory of my Moms many years ago and in their faces today. This is traumatic but at the same time its the right thing at least in my opinion.
And that is a difficult thing to see when you get older. I think everyone in their family is also on the same page and belief, but that doesn’t change the facts. I’ve tried to sit here this afternoon and imagening having to leave my home. I’ve only been in my home for 33 years and right now I don’t think I’ll ever leave it. But I also hope to grow old with my better half and someday may be lucky enough to be faced with the same thing. If that happens I’m going to be very thankful and happy that my children have our best interest at heart.
It’s not even that either of our parents didn’t think it was the right time. Both had been looking into it years before they actually made the jump. And I believe in their hearts that they know that taking care of a home at their age is difficult at best. Just about everything is hired out. They choose to cook and clean for themselves but even time for that daily has passed. There are multiple levels and stairs. Of course, stairlifts have been added and rails and grips in bathrooms, but still the fall risk is high.
Even though they have a great support system made up of children and grandchildren, they still don’t have the support they need in all situations. Luckily so far no medical emergencies that either have had to handle which is the most important thing now. At that age, even in fairly good health, it’s difficult at best and sometimes impossible to help your spouse properly in emergency situations. Here someone is right down the hall 24/7. Knows what action to take, makes the calls and has help on the way immediately.
But nothing about this is easy. They are leaving their comfort zone. Even though they have watched just about everyone in their neighbor transition away, its still their neighborhood and home.
My children have been gone for years, sometimes I stop and look in and imagine their just in the other room playing. Yeah, the rooms have changed but my images of them remain strong. I’m sure this is the same for our parents.
I’ve been privileged to experience my own mom getting into her senior years and my wife’s parents even exceeding that and it’s wonderful to be able to grow old. Its also filled with difficult decisions. It’s filled with hospital visits and stays. It’s filled with diminished capacities in both physical and mental areas. All very significant challenges.
It’s family members learning to interact together after being apart for years on their own. It’s learning new care and communication techniques. It’s having patience you didn’t know you had from both the parents and children because of the stress associated with growing old at times.
Getting old is something that I’m looking at as a limited number of possibilities left to share and enjoy. Each family gathering is more special to me now. Even each call from my children up to my mother and father inlaw is savored. So in every situation, I try to remember to make it as best possible.
As the seasons change this coming Monday I know I only have so many to appreciate. When in the throes of change and stress, it’s difficult to remember that every moment is to be savored. And each side needs to remember the love they have for each other, remain as calm and willing to listen and compromise when possible. Take into account that understanding and comprehension might not be what it used to. Don’t assume they hear you correctly. Don’t assume they remember. Don’t assume they are just being difficult.
I plan on working hard to make this a smooth and comfortable transition for them. One because they deserve it. They have given so much time and love to their family that it all should come back to them at this important time in their lives. It’s what my parents would expect of me. It’s what I hope my children will do when I’m in my advanced years if I’m lucky enough to get there.
Random Thoughts of the Day
- I know why so many older people seem so nice. They have discovered the secret that being any other way is a waste of time.
- What a beautiful stretch of weather.
- Some old friends gave us a kitchen table today. It looks great and the chairs seem more comfortable so they have increased the pleasures of my many meals there. Many thanks.
- I was able to make a number of older people smile today just by pushing a baby around in a stroller.
- You know a lot of lonely people are just looking for someone to say hello or have an nice day, once in a while.