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.


  1. I hear you! I often think of the verse "...inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." That works both ways - if we do things (for others) with kindness or resentment, we do them to the Lord - sobering thought. When I am tempted to become resentful, it helps me tremendously to consciously refocus and respond to the Lord rather than react to my loved one.

    Blessings on you, Holly, for your encouraging example to me.

  2. I have to say to myself, "I have never been 87." Or whatever age pertains to the parents. :) No telling how I'll be at that age--totally making sense to myself and annoying the younger family members. Who knows? :)

  3. So true, Brenda. :) Actually, I am already making plans for the ways I will drive my kids crazy. :) (Just kidding....)

    Violet - you have been such an excellent example for me, many times.

    I want to present both sides of love and nurture. It's just like having kids, or adopting, or marriage, or...any relationship. Love is a lot of work - it's a conscious decision. If I say that it's all only exciting or wonderful, I'm giving a false impression. Just wanting to be honest about the ups and downs of life - and of the value of sticking with it when possible. Lots of lessons learned....

  4. Hi Friends,

    The term elder care refers to a broad range of available care and services to assist the elderly. Care may be needed for a short period of time to help one rehabilitate after an accident or illness, or may be needed long term because of a medical condition or terminal illness. Thanks a lot.