Thanksgiving is approaching, how is this possible is all I can say? Isn’t it funny that when looking ahead time seems to stand still and yet when we look back we say where did it go, all the while time has moved at the same minute by minute pace.
As this year begins to wind down I have started my mental list making of what has created memories for me this year. At the top of my list is having my mother in-law move in with us. This has been both a time for relationship building and also a time of facing the hard reality of aging parents. I have heard it said that you can talk to parents about everything except money and sex, also known as the powdered butt syndrome. It is just as difficult I think to talk about anything that begins to infringe on a persons individuality and personal liberties.
I am reminded of a time many years ago when I was asked by my Grandmother to mow their lawn. As I zig-zagged across the lawn I looked up to see my grandfather staring at me through the picture window, bitterness laced his facial features and stirred me at once with empathy and sadness. Now as my wife and I are faced with our own parents aging it hits me a little closer to home. One day at a time takes on a new reality for us, as does the realities of my own mortality. It used to be that funerals forced me to consider my own eventual demise and it was easy to nonchalantly fall on my faith and rest in the confidence of eternal security. This is different… now I am considering the what if’s of a debilitating event and how that might impact not only those around me but also my own quality of life.
I don’t like to think about these things and I am certainly not going to dwell on them, still, it seems prudent to give it some thought and perhaps discuss it with my loved ones in the hopes of at least avoiding last-minute disagreements or misplaced expectations.
Have any of you dealt with these kinds of thoughts? I would be interested to know what your experiences have been and what kinds of things you put in place in order to minimize surprises?