Thursday, December 1, 2011
Elder care: When it's not warm and fuzzy
And yet, loving the elderly and finding resolution with your past isn't always warm and fuzzy.
Dad rejected my question of more trees at his farm; where I saw planting for a future hope he saw more work. I'll grant him that - he's 87 and he is tired. After feeling sad for a time, I have to choose to redirect that hope and not harbor hard feelings. At 87 and 43, life is too short for minor resentments. I'll move ahead and find different dreams.
I cleaned the gutters on his two story house this week; two stories up on an extension ladder in the cold and I didn't do them right. Meticulous and persnickity to a fault; he does not understand when things are not done his way, even when he is unable to still do them himself. With that, I have to shrug my shoulders and redraw a few boundary lines. I'll allow him to be himself, but won't dance to his drumbeat of hyper-perfection. Life is too short for that, too.
As always, love and loving action are a choice. Our love and wanting the best for someone are not dependent upon how we feel; nor are they dependent upon how the individual acts or responds. A little time, a little space, a little fortitude, a little kindness, a bit of forgiveness - and we'll be back in the swing of our relationship again. The bonds of love and family run deeper than small resentments.