Dealing with an elderly parent (Part II)


It’s ironic in a way that sometimes life comes to us full circle.

As children we look up to our parents for love, safety, and security.  And then there comes the role reversal.  As they grow older, parents will lean on their children for the exact same thing.

My mother, God bless her, had her left kidney removed due to cancer.  She is currently in a nursing home for rehab/recovery.

Little did I think my dear mother would develop such an insidious disease.  Cancer (except for the skin type) does not run in her family.  Luckily she made it through the surgery just fine and there is no need for chemo.  Unfortunately she still needs rehabilitation in some other areas due to her advanced age and unwillingness to remain mobile.  I believe one of the quickest killers for the elderly is lack of hope which ultimately leads to depression and death.  Once a vibrant woman full of spunk she is but a shell of her former self.

A Latin woman full of fire, this is what saved her (I suppose) from some of life’s trials.  Her marriage wasn’t perfect, there were serious issues however she persevered, primarily for the sake of her children though at times I wonder if divorce would have been a more viable option.

It is what it is, those issues reside in the past and I, along with my siblings, need to focus on the present, on what is to be “done” with our mother.  She was taught the old school ways of rearing a family and as to how children should revere their parents.

In a nutshell, she is very dependent on us for her happiness and mobility.  Not a healthy combination for anyone.  My brother, sister and I are trying to convince her to return to Puerto Rico where she has a large family. (She is the eldest of 12, 11 surviving).  My PR family would ensure mom gets the best care, that she remains active both mentally and physically.  Who wouldn’t want a little piece of paradise?Besides, it gives me the chance to visit not just her but all of my other relatives.  My family calls themselves El Pueblo (The Village) because there are so many of us.

I lost count of cousins after 35. 

“I’m not opposed to aging – even though society is kinder on men than women when it comes to getting old. How can I look at aging as the enemy? It happens whether I like it or not and no one is set apart from growing old; it comes to us all. Youth passes from everyone, so why deny it? I’m proud of my age. I’m proud that I’ve survived this planet for as long as I have, and should I end up withered, wrinkled and with a lifetime of great wisdom, I’ll trade the few years of youth for the sophistication of a great mind…for however long it lasts.”
Donna Lynn Hope

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