Assuming the Role of Caregiver
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|Assuming the Role of Caregiver|
November 7, 2011
This past weekend I flew to surprise my best friend for her 30th birthday. It seemed fitting that on the plane ride there I sat next to two women in their sixties who were best friends. They were both precious, finishing each other’s sentences, as they talked about the trip they were flying back from. They had both just been in Vegas together, seeing all the sights and giggling that they regretfully didn’t go see “Thunder Down Under.” As usual, I was so curious to know all about them. How did they become such great friends? Where are they originally from? Why Vegas?
After I asked a few questions, the conversation seemed to spiral into all parts of their lives. Ruth had 3 children, 6 grandsons, and not one granddaughter. She’s hoping to have a great-grandchild soon and crosses her fingers it’s a girl. Mary was never married and never had children but is really close with her 83 year-old mother who is “sharp as a tack.” They both live in Florida; Mary moved there to take care of her father who was ill and recently passed away. A strong sense of pride echoed in her voice as she discussed moving into the independent living facility to be closer to her mother. She wanted to make sure she didn’t fall, remembered to take her medicine and helped her drive around. Mary rolled her eyes as she talked about her mother throwing tantrums because she can’t drive anymore. Just as I am sure her mother rolled her eyes at her daughter’s tantrums years ago.
I often think ahead to the days when I will take care of the people who took care of me for so many years. My sibling are so much younger than I am so I have always felt like it was my responsibility; which led me to my final question. It seemed like Mary didn’t have any help from anyone so I asked, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” “I do, a brother, he lives in California so he can’t help out much. But he bought my ticket to Vegas!” I guess there’s no place like Vegas to reward your sister for all of her loving caretaking!
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