I'm sure I'm not the only one experiencing the decline of a parent, but it is still a very distressing process. My dad's mobility and general participation in life has been on a slow and steady decline for several years. This year, it has taken a huge jump forward, so much so that the impact on my mother and oldest brother is significant.
I just spent last Saturday visiting with Mom and trying to help where I can, although it doesn't feel like enough. I just continually pray for her health and strength to continue. And patience. If I could give her anything, I would give her a huge dose of patience, because that's what you need when you are completely taking care of another person. (Honestly, if I could give her anything...I'd give her a trip to Minnesota to visit her sister. She wants that so badly.) She is an amazing person and wonderful mother and wife. I hope I can take after her in vitality when I'm her age.
I also need to say something about my older brother Bob. He has become the rock on which my mother (and father) depend. He goes to their house every morning and every evening to help with the beginning and end of day processes. He's also on call should any crisis arise.
To be honest, he has always kind of viewed himself as the black sheep of the family. Which is ridiculous, but I want him to know that he has become my hero and I'm so proud to call him brother.
As for dad, I will continue to help whenever I can, but I will choose to remember the other dad. The one sitting on the end of the dock fishing or the one turning old Christmas trees into candlesticks. I think he would prefer that memory as well.