FROM THE ARCHIVES
It’s Happening!!! My role as a daughter is now changing to that of a caretaker.
It’s been slow over the last ten years, a minor surgery here, a medical concern there, but my parents always bounced back swinging hard. And from a 1,000 miles away they seemed to handle it with neighbors and son.
But now, it’s a full blown move to “my city”. I’ve wanted it, asked for it, and it’s here!
I sometimes felt that my other siblings got their daily or weekly time when their kids were small and I was jealous of what it would have been like to have a babysitter that I didn’t have to pay. A mom, or someone “like” a mom, close by who would cook “me” dinner when I was just too tired or take a crying baby.
Now the kids are gone and my parents are 80!! They are Not 50–that birthday I remember so well–my mom, so beautiful, and hearing her state, as if it was yesterday, she’s half way to 100. I look in the mirror and see THAT woman! 50!!! Sun spots– from playing hard– scars from playing too Hard! Crows feet, or I call them smile lines, that circle my eyes.
We are daughters, mothers and then a combination of the two I guess, Maughters, to our parents.
I have convinced them to move closer knowing that I hate surprises, and control is my comfort. Get them here, get them settled, keep them safe and then tuck my head and walk into the wind as I’ve always done.
But, they are not 50 like I thought they would be.
My dad’s spotted, soft hands shake as he puts the key in the door. My mom stating that she hasn’t needed a recipe to make a pie in 30 years and she’s not starting now— while I see her confusion- while looking at the measuring cups & spoons. I try to assist, but know that I will only fluster or bring attention to what she already knows. It’s easier to just blame my oven or the type of butter I buy rather than the double amount of salt, baking powder or sugar.
Memory, short term or long term, we will miss it either way when it’s gone. “This is an amazing pie mom”, as she beams!!
My parents are great travelers when I can get my dad through security with $100 in Sacajawea dollars weighing down his pockets and my mom can’t remember where she hid her ticket, so she wouldn’t lose it. We walk slower, park closer and use the elevator, rather than chasing each other up the stairs like my kids and I do.
They’ve adapted and are so kind and caring.
My daughter says one afternoon as we are crossing the street to get to our car at the–end of the parking lot. “Grandpa, do you have a handicapped sticker for your car?” “No, I’m not handicapped! I don’t need a sticker” as we dodge traffic like Frogger because we didn’t make it across in 12 seconds. That is gonna change!
My parents complement each other as they have their whole lives. He remembers for her now and she “does” for him. It’s an amazing dance that I’m trying to be apart of. With grace and humility.
The music is still playing and I hope that I can care for them to the end. Make them laugh, help them make new friends since I’ve pulled them from their house of 50 years to keep them safe and be the “GOOD” daughter.
If there’s ever been a time when I need to pull my cape from my closet, it will be in the next years. May the CHIX be with Me!!!!!