Tuesday, January 4, 2011
The purpose of Cherish Your Children is to assist families in prioritizing; spending more loving time together; offering support to both parents and children and to help children learn how to make wise decisions and also acquire self protection skills; as well as building self-esteem.
Even though we are called "Cherish Your Children", I hope you young people will realize the need to Cherish Your Parents.
Speaking personally, I live with my 88 year old mother. My father passed away seven years ago. Shortly before my dad died, Mom called me on the telephone and said "I think I need some help with your father". This meant that I had to leave my home (the rental contract was not due to expire for another six months). I had to leave my 19 year old daughter to finish out the lease so that I could leave and help my mom take care of my dad. Long story short, Dad died about a week after I moved in with them. Mom's physical health was not very good, so when she asked me to stay with her, I committed to stay as long as she needed me.
Seven years later, I am still here. It truly has been and still is a pleasure to be with her. During this time, Mom has fallen down several times, sustaining many bruises and sore knees. Near the end of January 2010, she fell and broke her hip. She has spent the last year recovering and trying to regain the strength required to walk without a walker. She has lost a great deal of weight and is very frail.
You might be wondering why this is called "Frustrated". Well, you see, I am the youngest of five children. I have a sister and two brother's that live within 45 miles. The reason one of my brothers and my sister moved here was so they could be closer to family and to be available should they be needed. They have all expressed their appreciation to me for being with Mom. I must say, it feels like they appreciate me because it enables them to not think about Mom and therefore they can "live their lives" the way they want.
We just "celebrated" Christmas and New Years. I put " " marks around celebrated, because the only one of my siblings that called Mom on Christmas was my brother who lives 2000 miles away. My two brothers and one sister that live close to us didn't even call, let alone visit. Every day from Christmas to New Year, Mom would ask me if I thought anyone would call or visit.
In all fairness, I must say that one brother came over on New Years day, because he always comes over on Saturday to give me a few hours to myself. He doesn't come to visit with Mom, but he does help her greatly. He did not come on Christmas day (Saturday) though. My sister had all of her family, their spouses and grandchildren, so even though Mom would have loved to see them, they were too busy and then they ended up passing the flu around the family. Finally, my other brother has a job that requires him to travel most of the time. He had almost two weeks off, to celebrate the Holiday's with his family, but the only time he called and came to see Mom was when he had to come to our part of town for another reason, after he had been home for a week, already. Even then, he only stayed for about 1/2 hour and had his family and his wife's family with him, so they didn't really get to visit. Mom told him that she would love to see him and visit with him prior to his having to leave town again. Well, he leaves tomorrow! She had to call him tonight to see if he intended to see her, or not. He's going to "try" to drop by after he comes up to rent a car for the trip. That's what I call "quality time". Sorry, my sarcasm got the best of me.
I am frustrated. Mom is getting weaker by the day and her cognitive abilities have greatly decreased. From being an excellent accountant and money manager, she now struggles to know how to manage her finances, let alone how to write her own name. I fear my mother will not be here next Christmas. I fear she won't be with us three months from now. It breaks my heart, but more importantly, it breaks my mother's heart to not have her children call and visit.
It's understandable that we all have families and lives to live. However, I do not believe there is an ACCEPTABLE reason to neglect a parent, regardless of how busy a person is. It is not my intention to build myself up, or to want sympathy, but I gave up my career and my life to spend all of my time taking care of mom. That was my decision. I would never expect anyone, under any circumstances to make the same decision I did. However - and please correct me if I'm wrong - is it too much to want, hope, or expect family members to love their parent(s) enough to call and visit, especially when they are elderly and only have a limited time to live? Mom is
broken-hearted. I am
frustrated very sad!
Please respond to this. I really want your comments. Even if you don't agree with me. Thank you