I Love My Parents with Every Part of Myself....

by Karen
(Spokane, WA)

I have 3 older siblings, 2 sisters & 1 brother. They're 14, 12 & 10 years older than I. My oldest sister lives about 30-40 minutes away from my parents (about the same distance she lives from work); I live about 10 minutes away from them. My other sister is about 250 miles away & my brother lives in a different state.

My mom had a stroke in August of 2009 & my dad has been her sole caregiver. I give my dad 'breaks' on the weekends so he can do errands & get some fresh air & not a day goes by that I don't call them.

My sister that lives 250 miles away comes to visit our parents more than the sister that lives in the same area. There is nothing that I wouldn't do to be of 'service' to my parents in order to keep dad's wishes to have mom at home.

There is nothing my mom can do for herself...nothing. My 75 yr old father is exhausted most of the time. He has so much to deal with mom, physically & mentally.

It seems like it's so hard for my oldest sister to make time to just come visit them. Dad & I are the only one's that take care of mom's needs, so it's not like he'd want my sister to take care of mom. Just to give dad a call & say, "Hey, we're going to grab dinner on the way home from work, we'll be there at 5" would be HUGE.

She tells me she asks dad if he needs anything, & of course he tells her 'no', but come on. Coming up for a couple of hours on a Saturday to lay next to mom & rub her head & tell her about the weather, or coming by & telling dad she's going to vacuum for him & then just sit & talk, are things that have not even crossed her mind.

She will be here for the funeral, crying & receiving hugs...but not one from me. My brother...he always has a $$$ excuse why he can't come visit his parents.

Am I mad? YES...to the bone. BUT, I would never trade the privilege that I've been given in taking care of my mom & being someone that my dad can count on. So yes, it's frustrating, but I know where my heart is.

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I Love my Parent too but Have Regrets
by: Jan

I agree with you about how you feel. I feel the same way about my Dad. But after being there alone (I have 3 siblings also) doing everything for the last 7 years I now find it hard.

I feel like I put my husband on the back burner more than once when he wanted to go somewhere or do something and I couldn't because of my Dad. I must have said a million times "when I no longer have to be responsible for Dad we will do this or go there".

My husband passed away very recently. I left home very early to do something for my Dad and came home a few hours later to find my wonderful husband had passed away.

I can't help it but I have enormous regret that I did not spend more time with my husband when I had the chance. I would have never ever thought my 86 year old Dad would outlive my 68 year old husband.

The morale of this story is never EVER put off anything you want to do when you have the chance. I could have hired help for my Dad to have more time with my husband but it never worked out when I tried. I just didn't try hard enough and now I have lost the most important person in my world.

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