While it is a wonderment to watch our children grow up, the other side of the coin is that the rest of us are aging as well. It’s hard enough to get used to the aging process of our own bodies. We can only try to take those aches and pains with grace rather than moans and groans. The old backs, knees, hips, and shoulders act up. And the memory thing…what happened to that? Worse than our own gripes with Mother Nature and Father Time, is watching our parents battle the scars of the aging process. At times, it puts us in helpless situations due to distance or responsibility to our jobs and family living with us.
It is hard to come to terms with the fact that we’re not capable of doing all the things we once were. Time slows us down. Things that were once simple for us become daunting tasks. That said, those things are even more difficult for our parents. It’s hard for them to face the fact that they are no longer capable of doing the things they once did. And it’s even harder to ask for help.
I have people in my own family circles that have reached the point of having to be cared for due to declining physical conditions. It can be a hardship in deciding on the care for the people you love. Families make sacrifices, and those in question make sacrifices as well. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to depend on others for your needs.
I realize we are probably not too far off with some of these decisions for my parents. A little over a year ago, my father climbed the roof to clean it off. Take in mind that he is eighty years old. It is a tin roof and he slid. His leg was twisted and he was hanging/dangling over a concrete ledge going to the basement. He screamed for my mother whose health is not well. She somehow managed to pick up the heavy ladder and move it to the part of the house he was on. Still, he couldn’t untwist his legs to reach the ladder. Fortunately, there was someone working on the property who heard her screams and ran to rescue my father. The year before that he decided to burn off his garden as he had done every season before. This time the flames got away from him. He tried lugging buckets of water to extinguish the flames. In the process, he suffered a mild bit of smoke inhalation and singed his hair and eye brows. Fortunately, someone driving down the road saw it and called the fire department. They live out in the country so it takes a while for responders. Thankfully, there are good people in the community that do come to the rescue during crisis’s.
There was the time a few years back that my father was at the store and came home to find the fire department in their yard. The chimney had caught on fire while my mother was there alone. I think a neighbor helped out in this instance and also tended to my mother’s health vitals. My father was petrified when he saw that. He thought he had lost his wife. Of course, my mother was as equally scared having gone through the ordeal. Fortunately there was no loss of life or property, just a very shaken older couple.
As grown children, we concern ourselves with the safety, health, and well being of our aging parents. Much of the time, we are limited as to what we can do or provide for them. And they are bound by pride in accepting help or gifts. It is the times in between those decisions that lead up to changes for the care of our parents that we find how grateful we are to other family members, neighbors, and community. And while we currently struggle to make proper decisions for those that we love, we keep in mind that someday those same decisions will be made for us by our children.