Day 362 Footnotes Thoughts of What Was and What Is

It breaks my heart.

I took my mother with me today shopping for  groceries. At her wish, she went one way and I the other.  How often have we shopped at the same big box store? As I was finishing up and headed toward the front I passed the lady who usually checks us out. She told me that mom was waiting for me up front. I thanked her as I hurried to find her. She met me part way, she had almost forgotten things for dad. Once we had those we headed for check out.

We found a check out that wasn’t too terribly busy so almost immediately I was placing her items on the belt. She leaned over a little too far and almost lost her balance but caught it quickly. Once I was also checked out we headed for the car. As mom sat down I loaded everything and put the buggies in the cart corral.

I got her home and got all of her groceries inside then headed for home. I found my son suffering from a migraine. He does it every time. He decides to stop drinking energy drinks and ends up in pain from the withdrawal. After seeing that he was okay, I carried everything inside and put away.

Now, hours later I am sitting here with mom’s words playing through my mind, “I can’t do what I once could. I’m so sorry”. It bothers her that she and dad have to depend on us for so much. My nephew makes sure they have firewood and has helped with other things. It was him who cleared the building and prepared it for Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners. My son is ready at a word to go to their aid. And I, my brother and sister-in-law do what we can. This bothers them, because they no longer can. It bothers them that they must ask, when once they could do anything.

I once saw them as invincible. They were the smartest, the bravest, the most of anything and everything. Mom sewed many of my dresses up until and through high school. I loved them. Who needed name designer clothing? I had dresses made by mom. I also have a quilt that was made using the scraps from those dresses. She was the one who went to battle with the schools for us and to the doctor when we fell ill or simply fell. Dad is the one who taught us how to fish, from rigging the line to digging our own bait to cleaning our catch. He also showed us that if you build it they will come is true. He cleared a section of the yard that became our own field of dreams. Neighbors we didn’t know came to play softball. So many different things, so many lessons, so much time passing.

Where once they walked tall and sure, their steps falter as they walk with a cane. Memories fade as has their stamina. While their love is still very strong. They do appreciate all that is done for them, and do not hesitate to show gratitude. Even as they lament what is lost.

They are not helpless, they do still live on their own without problems. They are able to look after themselves, their minds still clear. It is their physical strength that fails them. Modern technology is also a challenge to some degree. Mom understands and can figure out many things, but if the set up is too long, it becomes that challenge. Which is where my son comes in.

I know, that our family is not alone in this. Any and all who have aging family members face the same challenges and battles. They do everything they possibly can as they watch their loved one fading. Age and health issues stealing them away. Watching them as they struggle, remembering what they once could but no longer can, watching the sadness from the memories steal their joy.

The important thing, is to spend every available moment with them. Don’t get upset with them if you have to walk slower for them, if you must drive them, if you must take over cooking, what ever task they can no longer do themselves safely. Enjoy time with them, enjoy conversations, enjoy doing the things they need you to do for them. While you can. Family is precious, time is fleeting. Love, is never ending. As I weep for what was, I take advantage of what is, and fill the moments with thanksgiving and love.

Life is a journey, filled with adventure, laughter, joy. Even as time passes..

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
This entry was posted in children, encouragement, faith, family, healthy, inspiration, life's journey, memories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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