But I’m very thankful to be able to go there.
I don’t want to imagine how life might be otherwise.
Assisted living. It sounds almost pleasant, like an extra hand to get supper on the table.
And for some, it is that way.
Yet for others, not so much. For my mom, definitely not so much. She is like a child and needs help in every way.
When did this happen? When did my once giving-assistance mother become a dependent? I look at her skin—fewer wrinkles than my own. Her complexion is still beautifully clear. Her hair has so little gray that it would be ridiculous to color it. Most people can’t believe she’s even 71.
I think I could better understand this “child parenting the parent” role if she looked the part of a little old gray-haired lady instead of a beautiful woman with striking cheekbones.
But looks are deceiving. And fleeting. I know that. As of yesterday, her looks changed. She’s now sporting a bandage over her nose. She fell getting out of bed early Tuesday morning and broke her nose.
Because day and night are deceiving to her. Irrelevant to her. The sun and moon no longer assist her in figuring out minutes and dates.
So I sit with her again in the hospital ER and try to tell her, “Mama, please rest; close your eyes” and the lights shine so brightly in her eyes that she can’t sleep even if she could buy my line that now is the time for sleep.
In her eyes, she wants to get up and do. Independently. She doesn’t understand how assisted her living has been the past few years. And how much more so it has become the past few months.
And I don’t always understand where to draw the line as a child to assist my parent.
I sometimes tell my children, “Because I said so,” but I would never tell my mama that. When my mama asks me a question, I still answer with a “Yes Ma’am” or “No Ma’am” because that’s how she raised me.
So now how am I supposed to tell her to wash her hands or please try to go to the bathroom or encourage her to eat at least a few bites of her peas?
I don’t know. But I’m doing it anyway.
It’s assisted living. Giving help as needed. And like it or not, I’m parenting my mother. Isn’t that what a good daughter should do?
Father God, ultimate parent of all parents,
I don’t always understand how assisted my living has been either.
I’m totally dependent on you.
I must have your help.
I can only live assisted…
* * *
Do you live assisted, too?
More Walks with Him