It’s amazing how life will run it’s ordinary course and in the blink of an eye, one event can change everything.
As I sit in my parents backyard, my childhood home in Thornhill, I wonder: How did this happen?
The last few months have not been easy for my family.
My mom is still in the hospital after having a fall at home. And 2 weeks ago, my dad was rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with Pericarditis (a virus that causes inflammation to sac surrounding his heart). To make matters worse, he was all by himself when this happened. I haven’t seen my mother in 7 months and I’m learning the isolation she and my father have experienced due to quarantine has effected their overall health.
Since being discharged, I’ve been staying with my Dad to ensure he gets some support systems in place. As the primary caregiver of my mother, his healthy and safety is so important. I wear a mask in the house and I wear plastic gloves.
I wish I could hug him. But I can’t. (He’s a senior and immunocompromised).
And I want to tell him everything is going to be okay. But I won’t. Because there are still so many unknowns.
I’m not sure if I’m doing too much, or too little. I have always felt as though I have been too much for my parents (I have one speed: fast, and one volume, loud).
So I’m focusing on the little things.
- Making sure he has groceries and that he’s eating.
- Fixing the coffeemaker (I’m no hero, it just needed a good descaling).
- Reminding him to walk a little every day.
- Doing odd jobs around the house (disassembling a shelving unit and rebuilding it with Adam).
And as much as it feels a little weird to be here, it feels like the next best step.
My parents have been together for 49 years and 39 of those years were in this house, a house that built a family. There are a lot of memories here. Through good times and bad times, we made it out okay. But the thought of my parents not living here, is completely heartbreaking. I see the sadness in my Dad’s eyes after he’s come home from a visit with my Mom.
I know I can’t stay here forever. But I’m doing the best I can with what I have in front of me.
It’s all I can do right now. Sometimes, it’s all we can ever do.
Marlene Marshall says
You are doing what’s best, being there and supporting your dad and mom. Grocery shopping might have been done by your mom, among other daily tasks. You are teaching your dad to be independent and there is nothing wrong with that! I’ve learned during and continuing through covid, that it’s the little things that matter and sometimes that’s giving your time to someone. You’ve got this and lean on other people who you are close to! Also, make sure your parents feel that you are teaching, supporting and not feel that your doing everything.
Thank you so much for this. I wish they had a instruction manual for these things. xo
Evelyn (Lyons) Erasmus says
Jenn everything you are doing is the best for your parents. When my mother at age 97 came down with cancer I moved her to my condo in downtown Toronto from Ottawa. Some would think it was not the right thing to do, but as a daughter you know when you need to be there for your parents – and you are doing just that. Don’t let it overwhelm you and don’t overthink it. I’ve watched your comments, re looking at old photos, finding out you have relatives in South America – embrace the adventure and be healthy. You are a special women, I remember meeting your Mom and Dad at a party that you and Adam had – They were very special people and I immediately saw the wonderful connection you have with them.
I love hearing from you! It has certainly been a whirlwind but taking it one day at a time. I really do enjoy being there for my Dad. Miss you! xo