Anyone else out there have one or more elderly parents they are partially or completely responsible for?  Another question: Does anyone else belong to a family with more than one sibling, but only one sibling is required to do all the care and it is you?

Well, how do you do, me too.  My mom is 86 and not happy about it.  She shares this with me every time I talk to her and several times throughout the day when she is with me, which is all day every Saturday (sometimes Sunday).

 

I wish mom would smile sometimes

I wish mom would smile sometimes

 

Most people find this life view negative and depressing, and I would too if I had not had such a close connection to death most of my life.  No, I’m not sick, not physically anyway, ha, ha, but for much of my youth I too wanted to die.  Now, don’t get all worked up over this.  I never attempted to end it all, but I thought seriously about it and I still consider much of my youth lived on the knife edge between living and not living.

I think that most Americans (I can only speak for this society, as it is the only one I have spent time in) have a (forgive the pun) morbid fear of death and dying.   I have heard many theories as to why this is so, and I suspect that all of them are true.  I won’t bore you with listing or describing them, or heck, maybe I will, heh, heh.  As for me, I don’t fear death or dying, but I do harbor a deep dread of pain.  I hope one day to keel over suddenly, feeling great right up to that moment, then just presto, chango, gone the next.  That would be ok, I guess, since no one has figured out how to live forever.  Now, that would be cool.  Just think of how much you could learn if you lived a thousand years!  So cool.

Well, back to caring for elderly parents you love who would really like to shuffle off this mortal coil and yet have moral and religious taboos against speeding up the process.  So anyway, I pick mom up very nearly every Saturday at 10:00 am and we are off to a really low key, boring kind of day.  Mom doesn’t like movies, plays, art galleries, live music performances, TV, eating in restaurants, shopping for new clothes, driving anywhere that takes more than 30 minutes to get there and listening to the radio.  I guess that lists everything I would like to do on a Saturday but mom won’t do.

 

Depressed Elderly

Depressed Elderly

 

Well, there is only so much I can take, so I listen to the radio and watch DVD’s on the TV and work in my yard and other projects around the house, especially when she is napping, which is a lot of the time.  So the thing of it is, is mom is kinda depressed and anything that might cheer her up is something she doesn’t want to do.  She also only wears clothes that I’m pretty sure she bought in the 1950’s at Goodwill and refuses to buy anything new, because “I’m not going to live that long.”  Now how do you deal with that?

Don’t tell me to cheer her up, tell her nice things and make her do things she doesn’t want to on the premis that once she gets going she will enjoy it and forget about herself. I’ve tried that.

Well, back to the issue about un-involved siblings who are out having the time of their lives in semi-retirement whist I work my ass off keeping my spirits up with good-ol’ mom.  Is there a cliff somewhere where useless siblings can be edged off and not make a mess for someone else to clean up?  That would be nice.

The hamster cares

Here’s a joke for those who find discussions about responsibility depressing: “While on a car trip, an old couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. The old woman unfortunately left her glasses on the table, but didn’t miss them until they were back on the highway. By then, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around.

The old man fussed and complained all the way back to the restaurant, telling his wife she needs to be more responsible about her
belongings.

When they finally arrived, as the old woman got out of the car to retrieve her glasses the old man said, “While you’re in there, you may as well get my hat, too.””

This one is great: “An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son. “Yes, Dad, what is it?” “Don’t be nervous, son;do your best and just remember, if it doesn’t go well, if something happens to me, your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife….””

The hamster is smiling 🙂

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