Payback is a ..
I have a good friend that has just moved back in with her parents. She is my age, maybe slightly older and no, she did not lose her house, get divorced, fall on hard times or any of the usual stories. She moved home because her parents needed help. Her mother is not in the best health and needs a hand, and her father has dementia or Alzheimer’s at the very least. She left her condo, her friends, her life as she knew it and moved a few hours up the highway, and into the tiny home her parents share.
After about a week she created a small a little Facebook page to tell her stories on. Every night she shares the things she is learning about her parents, their health issues and how to handle them. Very often she asks for advice and more often she asks for prayers.
It occurs to me that this could be my reality at some point in the future, and we are probably talking the not so distant future. While my mother and father are relatively healthy right now, I am aware (and certainly more so now watching my friend) that there will come a day that they are not. There have already been a few accidents, a couple of warnings from this doctor or that. But then what? It has long been the family joke that my ‘we all know that if something happens to daddy or I you will be the one to take care of us’ yet it is said with a hint of truth. My husband is a registered nurse, and I am and have always been a caregiver/people pleaser. So yes, it will no doubt be us, and I am okay with that. I think.
I read the post from last night and an A-HA! moment smacked me right in the face. The timing of it all is ironic, and perhaps it is meant to be that way. Maybe there is some sort of karmic cosmic humor that only a few people get. This is the circle of life that they don’t tell you about- after you have raised your children and sent them off to be adults, you enjoy a brief respite from your responsibilities and duties as parents, before you take on the responsibilities and duties of being children.
For some the timing is not so neat and tidy, this I know, and it is not something I should make light of. I have friends whose parents have passed in the recent years, whose illnesses did not wait for the intermission in life. Those friends have had no respite; they have juggled more than their share, and carried on bravely. I have friends that are caring for their parents now, while our children watch and witness. I know that I am lucky-very lucky to still have my parents, but it does make me think about how this crazy life we live all works out.
I am reminded of all of the times I drove my parents crazy, made them worry and caused a fuss. I wonder now if it is not our children that will pay us back in spades, but our parents. My mother has always been keen to remind me that I was a terror in my teens, and a nightmare in my twenties. Does that mean she is going to be off the chain in her eighties? Will she and my father sit back in their recliners in the newly constructed basement apartment I will have to build for them and laugh behind closed doors? When she laughs and tells me that ‘Payback is a bitch’ is she not referring to my teenage boys, but referring to what she and my father have in store for me later? It would not surprise me, I really was that bad.