All four children (and one brave spouse) came to town to help go through the final household items – these were mostly personal or historical documents … the items we just don’t know how to handle. We figured if we did it together, it would be easier to feel confident in our decisions.
What I recognize in looking back on some difficult conversations is that we are all skilled differently and have varied roles to play as we care for our parents.
My role has developed as the primary care manager for my parents. I took the crazy calls, battled with them and witnessed their worst over the past year. The role has changed me. I believe it’s made me kinder and gentler. However, I realized that I expected my siblings to fill in as I do as a care giver. That is unfair – I’ve been in training for this role for years and am still learning on the job.
My parents are no longer the people who raised us. We see glimmers of our parents, but they are now both incapable of interacting with us as our parents used too. As they changed, so must we.
We are still finding the balance, but just as I changed to adapt to my parents, I know I need to adapt to understand the changing role of me and my siblings. I know how lucky I am they are all engaged and willing to help. Thankful.