My grandparents died before I turned 2. I didn’t have the lucky privilege of having them around. So. watching my parents grow older is the first time I’ve truly seen people I love … grow old.
Recently, my mom fell and got emergency hip replacement surgery. Seeing her in extreme pain was horrible. Worrying about her recovery now– although she is improving– is hard.
No one warned me how hard it would be to watch your strong capable parents grow into more vulnerable people.
No one told me how hard it would be to sit and stroke your mom’s hair as if she were a child. Not the other way around.
Between work and caring for my daughter full-time, trying to get to my mom as much as possible has been challenging.
All I can say to those of you whose parents are nearing retirement age, gobble up the time you have with them now!
- Ask them questions about anything and everything you could possible want answers to, and write down their answers while their memory is still good
- Take lots of photos, even if they don’t want you to.
- Visit them as much as you can.
- Have compassion if you notice them losing their memory or feeling ill more often. It’ll happen before you even realize it’s happening.
- Be present.
- Forgive grudges. Unless the person is toxic, let the past be the past. Embrace the present!