…since I blogged. A lot has happened since my last blog, mostly good things. My father is out of the hospital and at home, cranky, opinionated and stubborn. In other words, miraculously recovering. There’s a lot of change for him and my mom down the road; changes that they will not like and will likely fight, tooth and nail. But these are necessary changes to ensure that they will both get the 24/7 assistance and care they need. I consider this the price paid by the offspring ; if you live long enough, you will have to either see your parents pass on or have them move from their home into assisted living . As for the parents: if they live long enough, they will get to see their grandchildren and great grandchildren grow to adulthood, but they will also see themselves decline to the point where they have to exchange places with their children.
Mom and Dad: you have dedicated your lives to raising your brood. You have both worked by the sweat of your brow to nurture us, nurture yourselves, prove to the world that you can be–and were–successfully self-sufficient. We have all learned from you that hard work always pays off.
But now, it’s time for you to put away the rake and hoe you used to cultivate your gardens; time to stop chopping wood for your heat and cook stove; time to stop grinding your own hamburger from big cuts of beef, time to stop canning and preserving everything you’ve raised to keep starvation away from your door. As much as you have taken pride in your ability to show your talents and capabilities, it really IS time for you to step back, cherish the past, enjoy the present, and welcome the future.
Your children have nothing but the utmost concern for you. Speaking for myself and whomever else feel this way, we are not “in this” for monetary or material gain. The things you have earned, inherited, and collected are just that; yours. We neither deserve nor demand these physical things doled out to us as payment for being your offspring. These things are for you to pass on or use for your own resources. Please, for heaven’s sake, do NOT give Daughter X or Son Y this or that because you think they deserve it. Think, and give, from your heart. Don’t ponder the reactions of the others when you lovingly will something to someone. This is your decision, and yours alone.
In return, please let us help you in your final years. We are not there to take away your home or your day to day lives. We are there to make your final days, months, and hopefully, years pleasant and easy for you. The bible says “Honor your mother and father in the days of your youth”; I believe it’s far more important to honor your mother and father in the days of your adulthood. And so, in turn, please honor us in this endeavor.