“The path to love is often met with pebbles of fear, kick them down the road, do not linger, keep moving towards love, faith and hope are your companions.” _ Barbara Miller
Faith, Hope, and Love are the Holy Trinity of care-giving. Faith to start the journey, hope to light the way and the greatest of these is love. To love your way through the process is charity in action. On these three things rest the virtues of caring for another. I applaud those who have taken up the banner of parent caregiver, and, I do not judge those who take a different route. Taking on the role of parenting a parent is a call to service not everyone can rise to.
The role reversal is awkward and often heartbreaking. My advice to anyone who is caring for their mother or father is to be gentle with yourself. If you are a parent in some ways it will be reminiscent of raising a child but in other ways not so much. When a child misbehaves you have a discipline protocol in place. When your parent acts inappropriately you are left with little recourse. Reason does not work, try putting your mother in time-out, let me know how that works for you… You will be reminded time and time again that you are not the boss of your parent and that you are still the child regardless of the fact that you are indeed a senior who also gets a discount on Wednesdays.
All care-giving is not created equal. Each act of care is uniquely different. The role reversal that comes with caring for an aging parent is an ever changing emotional roller coaster. An uncooperative parent is much different than an uncooperative child. When you are raising a child you are engaged in acts of progression with very older parents you are often witnessing and navigating the sadness of regression. This role reversal road is filled with twist and and turns my mother has a favorite phase which sums this post up nicely “through it all” keep looking up with faith, hope and above all else love…
“Peace Be the Journey”