It is often said that being a parent is not easy. There isn't an instruction book on it, and I assume one learns from trial and error. However, on the other hand, it is not easy to be a child of an aging parent, for whom I will term a senior child. Unless one is the child of a parent three times their age or so, one has to be a senior in order to have an older, aging parent. The math just works out that way. Furthermore. there aren't any kind of instructions, directions, or rule books that comes with that responsibility either. I know as I am right smack dab in the middle of the latter. I am a senior child.
My mom passed away from Alzheimer's disease when she was 80 years old, but she succumbed to its symptoms many years before her death. During that time I did not have to deal with her agedness by myself. I had my dad and brother with whom we shared those responsibilities. While the very nature of her disease was often difficult with which to deal, I don't remember feeling lost as to what I needed to be doing. We just forged ahead and did it. On the other hand, now that my dad is in his late 80's, I find myself questioning as to what my responsibilities actually are. And, again I reiterate, there ain't no directions.
My brother and I, we are the senior children of a senior parent. There in are responsibilities that confuse and challenge us. We are trying to do it correctly, but I don't know if there is such a thing. We are doing what we are doing the best we can do and I reckon that is all that can be expected.
My dad and I, along with my step-mother, had a discussion yesterday concerning one common major issue associated with the aging process. The subject of the discussion is not important, but believe me when I say we discussed it up one side and down the other. Dad, of course, has his opinion and I have mine. I don't believe the two shall ever meet either! So, in that case, whose opinion wins out? In this case, his does. Although I would prefer to do things the way I think best, it is his life after all. As long as he is not hurting any one or breaking any laws, I suppose his way wins. He is, after all, the parent. I am just the senior child.
I have learned a lot through out my life. I think I have become wiser as well. However, I will readily admit I was not prepared to be a senior child. And, to be honest, I don't want to be a senior child either. I want my daddy to be young again. I want him making all the important decisions for himself, not me and/or my brother. Old age is not for the weak. But, as victims of old age, Dad and I are really trying to make it work.
Let me be perfectly clear, I am not complaining as I know what the alternative is to growing old, But, I don't have to like what it does to those I love or to myself. Yes, I am a senior child and my dad is a senior father. Hopefully we will grow older together.
Until next time...