Today I took my father for vascular surgery, he needed two more stints. My father is High Mileage and has had a quadruple bypass along with another stint prior to today’s two. Heart problems and diabetes run in our family so my twin and I are cautious with low fat diets and sugar in order to avert the one thing that kills everyone in our family- heart disease.
No one plans on taking care of their aging parent or parents but, the reality is that if your brother or sisters live in another state and you’re three blocks away- the burden will be yours as it is mine. Our brother lives in North Carolina and my twin sister lives 25 minutes away in Weatherford and has a houseful with both of her adult daughters living at home with her three grand daughters and her husband- it’s a house full of responsibility for my sister which leaves me available to care for my dad.
My twin sister loves having a new baby in the house but Leigh Ann and young “Maddie” will soon be leaving for California to move to a new Naval Base to join Leigh Ann’s husband, Alex who has been on duty. It will be difficult for Cindy to see her youngest grandchild move away, it will be hard for me too since we’ve become accustomed to having Leigh Ann and Maddie home with us.Having your adult children move “home” is becoming more and more common these days. When my son and his wife suffered a house fire last year, they moved home with me at WorthamWorld for six weeks. It was the longest six weeks of my life! Don’t get me wrong- I love my son but his wife was not accustomed to my ways here at WorthamWorld. I run a tight and tidy ship and expect everyone present at mealtime and helping clean up after meals too. I also expect guests (family or not) to pitch in and make their own beds, wash their own clothing and towels and pick up after themselves. I was the maid and cook daily for those six weeks ya all. I love my son but w writhing I taught him flew out the window after he married.
Caring for your parent or parents takes patience and time. Being prepared for long term commitment necessary for aging or I’ll parents isn’t easy.
Sometimes it takes a village and my son lives two blocks away. We take turns running meals and running to doctor appointments and when my sister has time, she pitches in too. That’s what families do- they sacrifice and they make it work.
Will it be “easy” when my father can no longer get around on his own? No. It will be difficult and hard decisions will be made but I’m praying that that day is a long time coming.
Wendy M Wortham