Four years ago today, but of course it was March 13th. It was a Friday my kids reminded me as they awoke. Friday the 13th. “Ah pay no attention to that silliness” I told them. “In Italy, it’s good luck”.
I started the day on top of it. In control and feeling good. It was a sunny spring like day. I was two weeks away from months of planning for a community Health and Wellness Expo I was facilitating. A quick scoot to the venue, to show it to one of the participants, then tackling a full to-do list.
My community is tight. It can take an hour to walk from one end to another, with all the hellos along the way. As I stood outside the venue, well well, “hello Doctor” I passed along to my Dad’s doctor as he was out for his morning speed walk.
Within minutes I received the call. Dad was not well. Several quick calls to notify a change in plans for the the next hour or so, one call to the doctors, the very one I just saw, office that we were coming in and off to Dad’s retirement home.
By the time I got there, 20 minutes, it was over! Done.
It’s interesting how you can wake up one day and have the very best of plans. Then BANG life takes that plan or to-do list and crumble it up and throw it to the ground and with it’s ever so powerful toe, scrunch it to pieces.
I was a part of the sandwich generation and am ever so grateful that I had that opportunity to be as such.
There are so many seniors living a life of isolation and loneliness. A forgotten generation. To be on call 24/7 for my Dad seemed only fitting for all that he gave to me.
So today, as with the past years, I remember Dad, with fondness and gratitude.
If your a part of the generation that is so lucky to be caring for an elderly parent my advice:
*take care of yourself. The stress and demands can be taxing on your health.
*Include other family members including your children. Even if your schedule makes visiting a challenge, then a phone call from a grandchild can bring a smile that lasts for days.
*aside from driving them to appointments and caring for them be sure to tell them that you love them
The value of a action not completed, is regret. The value of a word not spoken, is torture.
To have said and done all that needed to be, is a gift I unwrap everyday.