Sunday, February 13, 2011

Once A Parent, Always A Parent

I went over to my parent’s house this morning to video my sister walking. Yes, walking. She had a massive stroke in back in August and was paralyzed on the left side. My parents have been taking care of her since she got out of the hospital. I know it’s been really hard on them, but they don’t complain. My dad has learned a lot about physical therapy and my mother has learned a lot about invalid care. They rearranged the living room to accommodate a hospital bed and potty chair.
Their days are filled with physical therapy appointments, doctor visits and trying to get my sister approved for Social Security disability. My dad was wondering what he was going to do in his retirement but I bet he never counted on this. He is in his late seventies and my mom is four years younger. They are an amazing example of parenthood.
My parent’s generation seems to be so adept at handling responsibility and self sacrifice. Those values don’t seem to be quite so important in today’s society. I’m not sure where we lost it but I think we are much worse for its absence. Don't get me wrong, I know people my age who are taking care of elderly parents and adult children who have stumbled badly along the way, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.
Can we turn this around, and if so, how? 

My parents and sister at our house Christmas Eve, laughing
at something Ian was doing.

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