The Internal Responsibility of Taking Care of Your Aging Parents

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Before I delve into this week’s topic of choice, I first just would like to say a heart felt THANK YOU to everyone who read, liked, commented and shared my last blog ‘My Dear Jane Letter To The Child I Choose Not To Have’, the level of honesty and bravery in your own stories, community and support that out poured from all of you was just so touching and overwhelming.  It did not go unnoticed and I am truly humbled and grateful for all of you 🙂

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Now onto today’s blog!

As some of you may already know or even by my blog title page, almost 3 years ago, I made the big decision to pack up everything that could fit into my 2009 Dodge Calibre and drive my life back here to Niagara  from BC for a fresh start and to help with the day to day responsibilities of taking care of my aging Mom and Stepdad.

Now don’t get me wrong my parents are not invalids, they are still quite self sufficient, they can drive, dress, bathe, do light housework, the basic day to day stuff we all do.  Hell, my 79 year old stepdad just started a brand new tire business a couple months ago, so you can say he is still doing pretty darn good!

But, both do have some pretty serious health issues and my Mother’s balance is way off, which means if she needs to do any significant walking she must be accompanied by either a cane or a walker.  She has fallen before and with her being older and still quite over weight it is quite difficult to get her back upright and onto a chair or stable surface.  The down low cleaning neither can do, heavy lifting is out of the question and memory lapses have become quite more prevalent.  Don’t get me started on the constant struggle to explain how to send an email, check an email, read and or write a text message with either one of them, cause seriously, I don’t know why I haven’t bought stock in wine by now..lol..

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On the plus side, the little town we live in was chosen to do a study on how to make our little canal side town more Age Friendly with services, structures and programs which is a pleasant thing to consider for not only those who are older but for all of us, as we will all be my parents at some point and wouldn’t it be great if facilities and programs were already in place to make that transition much easier.

But I digress, now put starting a brand new business and a new health and wellness program that are both quite demanding of my time and what do you get, a different Dina, a Dina I need to look within and figure out.

Let me explain, like I had mentioned before, when my Mom asked me to assist her with emails or my stepdad with text messages, instead of just graciously helping I get this overwhelming feeling of frustration, a feeling of almost anger at the fact that they still haven’t figured it out even after the countless times I have explained it to them.  Now don’t get me wrong I always help, but lately I had to step back and really feel what I am feeling and try to figure out why?

They are my parents and I love them with all of my heart, yet when they ask for help I almost get resentful, and that is not me and I don’t like it.  It almost feels like it is just one more task to throw onto my overflowing plate and the more they ask of me the shorter my patience gets.  It is like I am running on this hamster wheel and I just don’t seem to be getting to my destination no matter how hard I try.  And as they get older, their needs and demands will be getting more and more.  How will I deal with that?  Will I be able to deal with that?

I think at the root of all of this, is the knowledge that I won’t have my best friend around forever, she will be 77 this August and maybe her getting older is forcing me to have to come to terms with the inevitable, her death.  Now I fully believe that she will be around for quite some time but that thought does linger and it is hard for me to admit. You see, I already had to deal with the death of my Dad at a very young age and I know what that did to me, so the mere thought of going through that again scares the shit outta me.

So maybe my resentfulness is rooted in this fact?  I have always been the one to look after others, I have an innate nurturing gene, maybe its because I am a Cancer, who knows, coming home to take care of my parents was a natural transition.  But maybe, at the root of all of this is learning how to take care of me; what are my needs, my wants my desires?

Like most women, I put others before me; my friends call me the Mother Hen always trying to help them get what they need, or help them make things better for themselves. Never usually wanting anything in return.  I get more joy in seeing my loved ones open presents I get for them then getting ones for myself.  Maybe, this inner resentfulness is me telling me you deserve some of this too, you matter, you have value and you need to start acknowledging and validating this?

Maybe it is all of the above, I don’t know, but what I do know is, I am not going to just sweep this under the rug, I need to do the internal work and come to terms with whatever I figure out, good or bad.  We are all worth the work, it just a matter of pulling up the sleeves and getting messy and dirty doing it.

The responsibility of taking care of the very people who raised you really has welled up a lot of internal thoughts and feelings that I thought I had worked through.  But, I guess new life challenges will bring old insecurities to the surface to test if you truly have put those demons to bed.

Hey, that can be my new moniker, Dina, Demon Slayer, it has a nice ring too it don’t-cha think 🙂

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Thank you for reading.  If there are any topics you would like me to cover, just let me know I would love to hear your feedback!

Until we meet again,

love and light I send to you,

Love Always,

Dina xxoo

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