I've been away for a few days. Sometimes life happens and our nice routines get disrupted. Then, it takes awhile to adjust and get back into form, or maybe a different form. Over the past couple weeks my dad has been ill. As he has gotten older, as it is for all of us, the physical systems start to wear. This has been a source of concern for me and my family. We are trying to adjust to new demands and responsibilities, while maintaining all of the old ones. I'm sure that there are many others out there dealing with similar issues.
How do we make the transition to care givers for aging parents and other family? There are probably as many opinions about this as there are people living through the experience. There will be those who state that it is the childrens' responsibility to return care to those who gave care for so many years. Others may have the opinion that professionals should be retained to help with care. After all, none of us are really trained in recognizing and meeting the needs of aging adults. I'm sure there are some who hold that the cycle of life simply requires that family care for family; it is the natural response.
I don't know for sure. This is pretty new for me. I feel that I missed out on some of this while my mom was alive. She was cared for in a professional setting with my dad by her side all of the way. I did not feel it was necessary to watch her closely. Now, I do have some regrets that I was not more involved. Yet, another part of me wants to keep this mortality at arms' length. I don't want to get to close to the messiness that any relationship can bring, let alone that of someone nearing the finish line. (See, neat little metaphors rather than simply stating the reality.)
Anyway, it looks like things are changing. I guess that's the way of it. Not always easy, but hey, no one every said it would be.