I know that headline must sound strange! I have been "helping" my 88-year-old mom since my Dad passed away almost 4 years ago. I've been on the emotional roller coaster of looking to siblings for support and finding none, and finally accepted that the bulk of the work falls to me -- until Mom becomes unable to perform the tasks of daily living. Then there was the issue of my being reluctant to enjoy my own life. I am a widow as well, and have an active social life. I'd even like to meet someone to be a life partner. But I have allowed Mom to make me feel guilty for wanting to enjoy my life -- and by extension, not be there to spend time with her. I have encouraged her to make friends -- at the Y, the Senior Center, etc. But she seems to be miserably content to sit in the house all day surfing on the TV. I have finally realized that this is her life and I cannot live it for her. I can only live my own. I help her with chores and doctor appointments, but I can't make her enjoy her life without my Dad. It is sad, because she is a charming, energetic, intelligent woman. But she's also incredibly stubborn! I don't know if my sharing this is helpful to anyone out there, but I hope so!
My wonderful neighbor talked to my husband the other day about his parents. They all knew each other and were neighborly before my inlaws moved to indy living. Neighbor said to my husband "Your parents are so lucky. They have everything they need at that place, and then some." It really is a fine building to grow old in. Hubby came back with a little bounce in his step because he realized even the neighbors recognized how much better off his parents are now.
Wouldn't it be great if we had plastic surgery for the inside of us to make us feel good even when our skin is starting to sag and wrinkle.
Good for you, you go to it. You should be living your life - we none of us have years to spare, surely - and if, as a bonus, your mother looks around her one day and thinks "why aren't I doing the same?" then so much the better. And if not, well, she still won't be any worse off and you will still have done your best for her.
Thank you so much for sharing this - it's a real restorative. Well done.