To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.

Tia Walker

Parents are our first superheroes. They were the cape-wearers long before Batman and Robin and the ones who saved us from the foolish scrapes that we got into as children and even as adults.  Naively, we sometimes think they will always be around taking care of us as they did all our lives, especially those of us who have able-bodied parents.

My father passed away about ten years ago so now I have one surviving parent. And as morbid as this may sound, anytime I attend a funeral I try to think of life without my mother and a deep sadness engulfs me. I cannot imagine it. I simply cannot. My mother has always been there for my children and me. Always. She thinks of everything and is the total opposite of me, who could be very scatter-brained and barely able to keep it together.

I recently travelled and became ill whilst in transit. When hubby came to pick me up in the airport, he was armed with one thermos of hot fish tea and another with hot ginger tea.  As bone-weary as I was, I couldn’t keep the broad smile from spreading across my face. And both hubby and I exclaimed that nobody does it quite like her.

So you see, when you have a mother like this who has always been doing the caring and anticipating most of your needs, you wonder when roles shift if you will be able to match up.  I have these thoughts often. I sometimes find myself getting irritated when she forgets something, procrastinates, or just does not have the energy to do something she said she would do. I believe the irritation stems from me not wanting to accept that she is getting older. I know it is selfish but I want her to stay the way she has always been, energetic and full of life. The thought is sobering enough.

When you have an aging parent like mine, at some point there is a role reversal, sometimes it’s so subtle you barely notice but it has started to manifest. You are now the one who has to aggressively ensure that she takes her medication, wears her glasses both to read and to drive, stay hydrated and get regular exercise. Seemingly simple tasks made more challenging because you now have to push through the resistance and downright stubbornness because you want them around for many years to come.

I encourage you to be patient and forgiving toward your aging parents.

Love them unconditionally.

Treasure every moment you spend with them.

Don’t take your parents for granted.

Do you have an aging parent? Do they live close by or far away? 

Tell me how you treat with your aging parents. Leave a comment or send me an email.  I would love to hear from you.

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