I read a comment on Ann's Blog this morning from Carol D. O'Dell, author of Mothering Mother. Her words refer to her caregiving of her mom and the voluminous writing triggered by the emotions from that experience.
She wrote one sentence that clanged a loud, long-ringing bell of uh-huhs from me. "It took me, my husband, our family, her neighbors, relatives, and church community for her to maintain that 'independence."'
Such is the case with a mom I know. If her kids weren't so busy dealing with her and her issues, it would be pretty funny, you know, the 'I'm enjoying maintaining my level of independence' proclamations in her speech and letters, even while she is stewing because Lectured Yard Boy hasn't mowed the lawn, Hen-pecked Neighbor hasn't repaired the wood shed, Church Man She Can't Stand Who Drives Her to Church During Stormy Winter Months drives too fast, and Son Who Lives 200 Miles Away And Has a Job and Family of His Own doesn't visit enough i.e. walk in the door to be handed a long To-Do List from an 'independent mother'.
Independence bought and carried at the cost of others' independence.
I tell the kids, "If I ever get like that, slap me upside the head." They only nod slightly, give each other a look, and smirk.
I know I know, walk a mile in her orthopedic shoes.
It's part of life, the caring for elderly parents. Ann is an example I look up to of gracious care-giving, even through the exasperation, frustration, and melancholy. To achieve her level of patient loving-kindness is my goal. As you can tell I am far from it.
Kudos and props, Ann.