Aging parents create special worry. After years of looking after children, minding their scrapes and boo-boos, staying up late to ensure their offspring arrive home safely, launching them into the world, and caring for grandchildren, the time comes when the roles reverse. The children now are the caregivers.
I have spent part of the afternoon hanging out with my parents, a job that my younger sister has been doing fairly regularly recently. I did a few errands around the house. Clearly, they are not able to do some of the things that they were once able to do. As I did the small repairs and sorted through a couple of items, I was acutely aware of the fragility of aging. Dad guided me through some of the tasks. Mom reminded him that I knew something about tools due to some volunteer work that I had done. I smiled at both of them, understanding where it was coming from.
Compassion comes in many forms and I have to admit that this was one of the best visits I have had with my parents in a while.
How are your parents aging?
What do they need from you?
You created us to be family,
to be dependent on one another,
to be helpmates for each other.
When the roles reverse,
make me compassionate and merciful.