Honoring My Aging Parents

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Yesterday I took my 95-year-old mom back home to wait for my 95-year-old dad who recently had a partial hip replacement from falling and breaking it just before Christmas this year.

There has been an unusual amount of injury and healing around me as of late. Much of that has been with my immediate family of humans and animals. That part just doesn’t seem relevant in the story other than contrast and awareness of how appreciative I am for life.

When I am least expecting, there I find a powerful gift from the Universe.

It was like having the mom I had when I was young… only this time I could give her a piece of the loving sweetness and care she had given me all those years ago. There are so many facets in the experience that held a deep awareness and two are most prevalent at the moment. One was in the awareness of my vibration and my wish for the experience and the other was a lesson of allowing and faith.

We set up a cozy room where it was easy for mom to maneuver with a walker. Izzy and Gus, our Golden doodles, daily took turns bringing her their toys and getting a sweet pet in return. Mom is mostly blind in one eye, advanced macular degeneration in the other but her spirit is strong and like her mother before her, she is fierce with determination which my dad calls “stubborn” as he smiles…

She wanted to go home and couldn’t wait three more days until my dad got out of rehab so we were faced with a difficult decision. She had not been alone for over 35 years, with her vision severely impaired and using a walker, my dad did most everything for her. One could say overbearing but he would say it was always out of love. Never-the-less she wanted to go home by herself, no more caregivers – just her peace and quiet. The last three weeks of the injury, surgery, and constant discussion was coming to a close, dad was healing and mom wanted to do the same.

The only thing was that we didn’t want to let her go, we were afraid for her safety though we had taken every precaution we could. She was determined and her spirit begged for independence.

My dad remembers when she thought she could still drive the golf cart and went off on her own. That didn’t end well but she didn’t know until she tried.

Herein lies the lesson and it has to do with allowing others to find their own boundaries, being there with loving support when asked versus trying to control, preserving dignity and spirit, and having faith while empowering those we love as best we can… young and old.

I called to check in on her this morning… all is well.

By Barbara Alexander

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