Friday, January 29, 2010

Aging Parents

This is a picture of my sweet Mom and Dad! My Dad will be 89 years old in June and my Mom will be 86 in April. They live in the same town where I do, so I see them almost every day. They adore my girls and we have all spent some wonderful times with my parents over the years.

My Mom had cataract surgery in early December and did not get along very well with her surgery. She never regained very much vision in the eye that had the cataract surgery. A week ago Thursday, she lost all vision in that eye and her doctor finally determined that she had a detached retina. Surgery was scheduled for this past Tuesday, January 26th. My sister came to be here with Mom and Dad, so that I did not have to lose time from work during the day. Thanks Cecelia, I was so glad that you could be here! I helped out in the evenings after work.

Mom had her surgery on Tuesday and it took almost 3 hours! The doctor could not promise that her vision will be restored, but we are praying that she will regain her vision in that eye. It all depends if there was any nerve damage to her eye. After having her surgery, the doctor classified Mom's problem as a giant retinal tear.

Mom still drives and my Dad does not, so it would be a really big lifestyle change for them if she does not get her vision back. I have really been lifting up prayers for her that she will regain her vision. My Mom is so independent and it has been hard for her to be the patient this time. She so loves to take care of everybody else in our family, not us take care of her. Mom loves to write cards and letters to friends and family and that is her ministry. Right now she can't see well enough to read or write.

It is so difficult to see my parents aging and needing more and more help with everyday things. I am so thankful that I am here for them and can help as much as I am able. Mom has not had the energy to do as much around her house as she usually does, so I have been helping her with household things. They are hoping to stay independent as long as they can and I am trying to help them as much as possible. I have been working full time since August 2nd, so I have felt a bit stretched recently.

Today I felt bad that I got short with my Dad when I took him out to lunch. I thought I had left the handicapped placard at home and he got real upset with me and couldn't understand why I had left it at home. I snapped back at him and told him that I had my hands full and could not remember everything. I was doing the best I could. I actually felt like crying, but I didn't. My sweet Dad, who would never have said anything like that, is changing. His personality is not what it used to be and it is heartbreaking to see the gradual changes over the past 6 months.

I have so many good friends who are also experiencing the same things with their parents, so we are trying to help support each other. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining, because I thank God every day for the time I have had with my parents. I have 2 wonderful parents who have meant the world to me and still do!!! They provided a very loving home and we have always been very close. I could not ask for any better parents or Grandparents to my children!

I guess all of you who have aging parents would agree that it is hard to see them get older. As adult children, we begin to take on the role of the parent and the parents act more like children. There is such a role reversal. I try not to let it bother me, but at times it is hard not to. I am typically a very patient person, but sometimes it is hard to be patient with them.

Right now I am trying to balance my time and there just does not seem to be enough hours in the day. We are in the midst of a snowstorm tonight. I spent the morning cooking and getting food fixed to share with Mom and Dad. I took Dad to lunch, but Mom did not feel up to going out today. I ended up letting Dad run errands with me this afternoon to get ready for the snowstorm and he enjoyed being out and about. Mom enjoyed the peace and quiet at home.

I am planning to hibernate in this weekend (since we are supposed to get up to 8 inches of snow) and try to get some things done around my house. With Mom having her surgery on Tuesday, I have not been home one night this week until tonight. I am a bit tired, but a weekend of rest and relaxation at home will be wonderful!


  1. Hang in there, Mom! You are such a blessing to Nan and Pap. There is no way they could get by without you. I hope you enjoy your snow days. Take some time for you - read a magazine, watch a movie, sleep late, paint your nails... you deserve it! Love you!

  2. I love this post, but more then that, I love what your daughter wrote above in the comment section. You are blessed.

  3. You know, my husband and I were just talking about this very thing. As we age we're having to experience more things like this with family and friends. With parents it's especially challenging and I'm having to bite my tongue a lot with my mother right now as she's making some of her life choices (I lost my dad 5 years ago).

    Interesting stage of life we're in right now....

  4. I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through and took a moment to pray for God's grace to surround you and give you rest this weekend. Dealing with aging parents has been the hardest thing, and especially when they get grumpier and more demanding at a time when we are more busy than ever ourselves.

  5. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Your writng really touched me because I have been there with my daddy when he was sick and now facing the same sort of experience with my father-in-law. It is a challenge and a blessing all in one. When the roles reverse you feel so many times you're caught in the middle. My prayers are with you and your parents. Take care of yourself and do some of the great ideas your daughter suggested...she sounds like a jewel!

  6. Both of my parents have passed, but I have a good friend who is going through this same thing. She gets short with her mom and then feels guilty about it, but her mom can be so difficult. It is a hard balance. But I know you, one of the sweetest people ever, are doing a great job. xoxo

  7. I just figured out how to connect to you blog and not just your profile! I am really new to this! I love it that we picked the same background! Great taste.

    I will pray for your parents.

  8. Oh I do feel for you. It's so hard to be patient sometimes. While my mother has been doing well since just before Christmas, my husband's mother has been having an awful time recently. It's only natural that things wear on our nerves every now and again. I'm always around it you need to vent!

  9. What a sweet post - and what a tremendous blessing to have both of your parents still living..and living so close! Changes bring adjustments for everyone - and, of course, God gives the strenght...and need. Hope your weekend "in" will be just what you need...enjoy yourself, guilt free:)

    Praying for your mom's recovery and dad's patience:) Such a sweet picture.

  10. I sent you an email but wanted to let you know you are one of the winners of the note cards giveaway. I'll need your mailing address to send them to you!

  11. Oh sweetie, I wish I could wrap my arms around you and give you a hug. Living with a man that's 20 years older than myself with alzheimers is a daily test. I'm slowly watching the man I married 31 years ago disappear before my eyes. I know God doesn't give us more than we can handle, but I question a lot lately what more is.. I'll lift you up in prayer... I hope your mother is getting along a lot better now.... hope you didn't get the snow they predicted... many many hugs ~lynne~

  12. I will certainly keep you and your parents in my prayers. My husband and I are both dealing with aging parents as well. It is difficult to deal with the role reversal. I know exactly how you feel. I hope you got some time this weekend to rest. Those brief periods of time to ourselves are so important. Take care of yourself and know that there are lots of us who are thinking about you! :-)

  13. Hang in there...I know just what you are talking about. I sure hope that your mother gets her eye vision back...I will be sure to say a prayer for her.


  14. You truly are paving your path to heaven one brick at a time. I was my maternal grandfather's guardian until his death two years ago. It was difficult as he had Alzheimer's. Now my maternal grandmother will soon be moving in. She will be 88. I am still not sure how I am going to handle an 8 year old, my schoolwork, wifely and household duties and still keep my business afloat.
    Let's keep praying.

  15. I pray that your mother's surgery goes well and that her vision will be restored completely. Thank you for your prayers for little EKW. We will be thinking of all of you today and in the coming weeks. I understand what you are going through.

  16. Thanks for stoppping by. I too have aging parents ... it is hard. Hope your Mom is doing much better! Where at in NC do you live? I live in Cary and we had snow and ice and can't wait for things to get back to normal!!

  17. Well said...and you speak for most of us.

    Your kindness and appreciation is so evident.
    I pray God gives us all the patience , strength, and energy
    we need.

    Take that break this weekend. Do something fun and renewing.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  18. Thankfully your parents have such a wonderful daughter! this is something I think most of us worry about as we see our parents age.

    I will keep you and your mom in my prayers!

  19. I enjoyed reading your blog, and can so relate to being both an empty nester and helping aging parents.

    I lost my dad about 18 months ago, but I spent so many hours taking him to appointments, etc, and helping my mom out in that way. As you mentioned, it's so hard to find time to balance all of it.

    It helps to know we're not alone!