My dad died in his sleep in 2010. He was 75 and even though he was retired, he worked like a 50 year old. My parents lived on 15 acres since their early 20's. There is always something to clean up, repair, pull to the brush pile, burn, trim, or mow. Before he died he said if something happens to me first, you need to get your mom to move to a smaller house in town. Well it is 9 years later and she is still there. My husband and I have an ongoing to-do list all summer long. When anything is said about moving to town or checking out assisted or supportive living she becomes defensive, "why do people keep telling me I need to move?" Well... because we are tired.
We have our own home that we would like to enjoy on our days off. We enjoy camping, gardening at our house, festivals and friends. Instead we have to drive two hours round trip, mow for 4 hours, pick up sticks trim bushes etc. I am now 56 my husband is 62. Last summer he had a head injury and spent weeks in the hospital and even more weeks in a rehabilitation hospital that was three hours from home. I worked my 4 days a week and went every weekend to see him living weekends at Ronald McDonald house, (they truly are angels!). I came back late every Sunday night and spent every Monday mowing our yard, doing laundry, paying bills so I could do it all again the next week. My daughter stepped up to mow at my mom's but she was on unemployment last summer. Luckily my husband has recovered 95%!
Now the thought of going back to our handyman schedule this upcoming summer is just making us angry. You never know how much time is left on this earth and his accident was a stark reminder of that. I don't want to take care of my mom's place in the country. We chose to live in town because it is easier. I am angry that I am expected to take care of something that was their life choice, it shouldn't be my burden. My daughter found a new job, and now works a lot of overtime and my niece, who isn't much younger than I, already shuffles mom to all of the doctor appointments. I have degenerative discs and narrowed spaces in my neck causing nerve pain in my upper extremities. I have been in physical therapy and have been told I should never lift more than 25 lb again. I have had nerve ablations to my lumbar spine and I also have lupus. So being in the sun is not good for me. If I manage these problems properly I can avoid worsening symptoms and continue to work. I tell all this to my mom and she listens, asks me how I feel but the list making continues. I don't want to spend the last year's of her life being angry or fighting with her but I am becoming resentful and so is my husband. How do you walk away from the list while keeping your mom?