My parent’s got married 67 years ago today. When I was the adult family caregiver, I worked to find unique and fun ways to celebrate with my parent’s when they could no longer plan or manage these life events.
I went back to read my post from 7 years ago, I openly admitted that slight effort felt overwhelming to me at the time. What I recognize now is that I didn’t have to manage everything. I could have asked a sibling to help, but none of them were local which brings some extra hurdles to both financial and medical task management. (I recognize I’m still making excuses for not giving up CONTROL ; > )
What I learned on the journey was that there are resources that I could have hired to help manage the medical needs of my parents (Aging Life Care Managers), and handle the day-to-day finances (Daily Money Managers).
What I regret now that both of my parent’s are gone was that I didn’t focus on being the daughter and find the joy in planning and celebrating these events with my parents. I got mired in the management and coordination of their care and finances. If I could do it again, I would manage things differently.
On their 60th anniversary, I did enjoy a nice visit. At this point they were in a two room apartment in Assisted Living. We had all dreaded moving our parents from their 3-bedroom apartment in Independent Living just a few months prior, but the community said we either moved them into Assisted Living or they would be moving them out of the community.
My parent’s were so happy with their new, smaller apartment. Neither myself or any of my siblings would have believed this to be true until we witnessed it.
I noted on this day we talked about how few couples make it to their 60th wedding anniversary. My Mom shared how lucky she felt they made it this far and was with their current life. At this point, both of my parents were living with dementia that was progressed enough that they could no longer manage their daily activities without assistance and cueing.
I’m honored I was able to celebrate this day with my parent’s. I hope you are able to find the joy when they are still on this earth here with you. Reflected.