You Can Check That Off Your List

My brother and his wife just left from their yearly visit at my moms. They usually come twice a year but he informed me that they are so swamped at their business that he probably won't make it back this year.


While they were here, I went with his wife to visit her mother who has been in an elder care home for many years. She entered the regular wing when she first went in but is now locked behind the Alzheimer's door. She has declined radically over the years.

When I first went to visit her she was coherent and knew everyone and joined in the conversation.

Now, she lays in bed a lot, doesn't recognize anyone, and not only can't form thoughts, she can barely form a word. I asked my sister-in-law if she felt bad that her mom was in there declining so much and she said "Well, there was nothing else we could do."

Both my brother and his wife work at their business and it was just a matter of fact that her mom couldn't come live near them because they didn't have the time or funds to take care of her. So there she languishes. Even worse, she said "We knew this would happen to her, but, again, there was nothing we could do."

Really???

You couldn't work part-time? You couldn't hire someone to take your place in the office full-time? You couldn't get your mom on some sort of assistance and put her near you where she could see you and her grand kids and be a part of your life?

God forbid she inconveniences you or rocks your boat at all. My brother has a huge home on acreage, free and clear, snowmobiles, 4-wheelers, even a small plane that he pays dearly to garage and maintain at the airport, but there was nothing they could do for her mom???

I moved in with my mom 4 years ago and gave up anything I had going to come take care of mom and keep her from entering any institution, because that is her biggest fear. Whenever I go visit my sister-in-laws mom, I can see why.

While my brother was here, we went over some major problems with moms house. Old sewer lines that might need replacing, a large tree that needs branch supports, a leak in the roof, and an old fence that needs repair. His words to me when he left...."Carry on!"

Both of them are unbelievable. They are wonderful, hard-working people, very generous to their employees, children, and grandchildren. But when it comes to their aging mothers, they have left them far behind for others to take care of.

What would have happened to my mom if I had said, There's nothing I can do, when mom needed someone. Where would she be now? In the room next to my sister-in-laws mom? My brother wouldn't have had time for her either.

So easy to just come visit and leave and put that green check mark next to that duty for the year. Now you can take that off your list.

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