Who is going to help me when your father isn’t around any more?

I’m worried that I may be getting a little cocky. I have had several visits with my parents that ended pleasantly. I spend time planning before I arrive and have gotten more masterful at managing my visits and avoiding conflicts. I have to say that I needed things to go a little better lately.

Today as we were doing a jigsaw puzzle together, my mom stands up and returns with her burial instructions. She has been showing these to me since I was in college and I know where they keep this information. After putting the papers away, she asks “Who is going to help me when your father isn’t around anymore?”

I stop working on the puzzle, look her in the eye and tell her I will help. My dad is sitting right next to her and keeps his focus on the puzzle. I have to address the elephant in the room now and ask my mom why does she always assume Dad is going first?

My dad looks up at me with a smile on his face and calmly states “The men die two to three years before the women do.”

As frustrating as it is to witness my parents mismanage many daily activities, they really think they are doing just fine. It’s obvious they have had this discussion. They were both very comfortable with it. Surprised.

Please share how you have helped a parent or loved one recognize they need more help than they are willing to accept.