My parents in their 80's are probably in the category of the 'greatest generation'. Their lives seem to have fallen in line with similar paths of others. Dad proudly served this country in the navy, met mom when he returned and they both worked day jobs to put themselves through college. Nobody gave them a dime, but they made their money through hard work and seemed to take satisfaction in that. Dad didn't retire until he was 72 years old. Even then, they were active and volunteered at the local hospital, church and community. They traveled, but remain living in the area they grew up so many people know them wherever they go. Two years ago mom became ill with a broken hip and has declined rapidly with various issues since then. Dad is her primary caretaker, exhausted and tired. They rarely leave the house. Mom says she wants to die. Dad says he has no quality of life. I do what I can to support, help with doctor appointments and help around their home.
What breaks my heart is they way I see the essence of what they are disappearing. Dad even told me "I'm too old for this world". I think what they value ... things like honor your word, live the example, treat others as you wish to be treated, respect of country, always take time for kids/grandkids are things that nobody seems to have any regard for. People seem to have no patience with them, don't take any time for them.
Is it just me? Does this happen to every generation as they age?
My parents always had me and my sister's family at their house for Christmas, but this year let my sister host the dinner. At the last minute mom felt ill, and couldn't make it. My sister's 25 year old son said "Oh great, do we have to just mope around all day because they're not here?" I cringed. My sister kept telling me that it's not all about mom & dad and she wanted her kids to have a good holiday. So, she never mentioned our parents at all during the dinner. Nobody did. I stayed briefly and left. I've never been close to my sister and will likely never return to any "holiday" celebration with her again.
Is this odd? Do I have a self-absorbed sibling raising similarly-focused children?
I find it heartbreaking. Does it always come down to this?