About Carolyn: I’m a Wife, Momma of 2, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Writer, Lover of Books, Gardener, Errand Runner, Coupon Clipper, Target Shopper, Kisser of Cut and Bruises, Laundress, Chef, and so on. Just like The Verve say in Bittersweet Symphony: I’m a million different people from one day to the next. Find her blogging at Hooked and Happy.
It’s hard to watch someone age. And even harder when it is your own parents.
When I was a girl, my Dad and Mom knew EVERYTHING and could do ANYTHING. I held them in hero status for all of my childhood and most of my adulthood.
Then I got older, and so did they. Things changed.
I moved from Canada to the US. Got married. Had two daughters.
The first difference I noticed in my parents when they came to visit was their hair. It had grayed. A lot.
Over subsequent visits, other changes crept in. Their movements slowed down, their hearing decreased and they had become somewhat eccentric.
“They didn’t want to do this, they couldn’t do that”. “I should do this, and shouldn’t do that”.
I got frustrated with them. I became short with them. My attitude towards them was full of annoyance. Sadly, our visits weren’t always so great.
One day, as I prepped for their next visit, I realized I was actually mad at them. Mad because they aged, and weren’t who they used to be. I didn’t want to accept that they were getting older because getting older meant getting closer to death. And death is something I don’t want to think about when it comes to my parents, but I know it’s there, always lurking.
Then I got mad at myself. I scolded myself. How could I waste such precious time? How could I be so selfish? They hadn’t chosen to get old. In fact, I’m sure, if they could choose, I know they’d choose to stay young and vibrant like a lot of people would. But they can’t, and I need to understand that. I need to have patience. I need to accept who they’ve become.
I’ve adapted. I understand. I accept.
When they come to visit, I work with who they are because there’s no going back. There’s no changing what is. And I follow my daughters lead, because they love them just as they are now. Which is really what is important, right?