Part 5—Parenting your Parent…

My Mother’s Journey of Healing From Diabetes

I guess if we live long enough we will parent our parent(s).

My brothers and I were blessed with a wonderful woman as our mother. She was loving, caring, strict, but also gave us freedom. Mom encouraged independence in all of her children. She did not try to keep us in the nest, rather allowed us to fly when we were able. Yet, she was home if we needed and ready to listen.

However, there came a time when Mom did not seem right mentally. We had all left home involved with our own lives. Whenever we’d call home we noticed her memory was slipping. Later we discovered she struggled to keep the family checkbook tallied correctly. I remember conversations with my brothers to determine if they’d also noticed something different with mom.

We kept our observations from our father. He doted on mom and we didn’t want him to struggle with her health issues along with his own. There was really nothing for us to do, so we waited as we observed. Just as they gave us our freedom, we didn’t hover over them.

Unfortunately, like many older adults, they decided too late that they needed to move into smaller accommodations closer to a city where they could receive more frequent medical care. Because they waited they were not able to make this move on their own and were forced by health concerns to make a move under duress.

That’s when the “Parenting of our Parents” began. It was painful for both sides and while dad was in the hospital, mom shut down and allowed me to take care of the details. She was content to spend time with her lifelong mate and disregarded the world around her.

Part 6 goes back to those changes to mom’s life after my father passed…

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