PetWill Radio

Friday, June 11, 2010

Role Reversal - When Your Parents Need Your Help

Your parents have always been there for you. For all those years growing up, your parents were the ones to offer advice, a shoulder to cry on, and always it seemed, available to lend a helping hand, whenever and wherever. Remember the first day of kindergarten when one or both of your parents walked you to your classroom, their eyes shiny brightly with the tears they didn't want you to see? How about the time you skinned your knee and mom was there to kiss it and make it feel better? What about the day you learned to ride your bike without training wheels and your mom or dad was right there running along side to make sure it was smooth sailing?

Every important moment in my life was shared by my parents. All of my important firsts (well, almost all of them), had my parents front and center. From kindergarten to high school graduation to not one, but multiple college graduations, to my first wedding. They have always been my biggest fans. If I ever needed someone to build my self-confidence or help me through a hard time, they were there.

Now, it's my turn to be there. My parents are aging--and it's hard to watch, let alone participate in. Like the Bonnie Rait song, Nick of Time when she says, "I see my folks, they're getting old, I watch their bodies change. I know they see the same in me and it makes us both feel strange." It certainly does.

I'm visiting with my parents for a couple of days to "see how things are going." Today, after shopping and lunch with my mom (my dad was home with a nurse caregiver) we went to the funeral home and pre-planned and pre-paid for my dad's funeral service. And there you have it...From the beginning of my life to the end of his, someone has to be there. I'm proud and pleased to be able to help my parents when they need me. Fortunately I have three sisters who live significantly closer to my parents than I do and they take the lion's share of the day-to-day responsibility. Today was my turn to do what I can to help ease the concerns my mom and dad have about the inevitable--death.

Ben Franklin once said, "there's nothing certain in life except death and taxes." Still true, even today. Even more important is the certainty of change. Are you ready for it?

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