J: I have always used the phrase "to whom much is given, much is expected in return" with my boys to encourage them to count their blessings and then turn around and give back in equal measure. The origin of this philosophy in my life became clear to me this week. My husband and I traveled to a beautiful resort where I had gone as a child. Back in the day our dad would take one or two of us kids with him when he traveled to these amazing places. He would leave our mom at home to tend to the unlucky left-behinds, while those traveling felt so special. I clearly remember being at this resort with our dad, being able to order off the menu (something that NEVER happened at home) and even being able to attend the adults-only cocktail parties as our dad's guest. ( I distinctly remember my dad being very tolerant as I scraped my tongue, futilely trying to get the awful taste of caviar off of it after I accidentally tried some at one of those parties!)
I felt so important when on these trips! And we had these shared memories for years. I'm sure our dad would have preferred to employ our Yugoslavian cleaning lady to watch the whole gang while he and our mom snuck away for a well deserved vacation. But he took me instead. He made me understand how important I was to him.
So now when people ask "how are you doing with your parents? It must be so hard", I just smile and offer "one day at a time" or some equally benign platitude. Because in truth our parent DESERVE the type of treatment they are receiving on the Parkway. They were good parents and wonderful providers. They were given a lot and turned around and returned it. We are trying to do the same. Thanks mom and dad!
E- well said J...and I completely agree. This is life...what goes around comes around. That sentence has so many meanings regarding our parents.
The Parkway Project residents still function like regular people....we just added our parents to the fold...so keep us in your thoughts and prayers but don't feel bad for us. This was and is our management plan.
-This text was just sent to J and me...this woman is a faithful friend to both of our parents and reads our blogs religiously each morning. She read J's post today and here's her text from an orthopedic rehab bed, recovering from back surgery : "Just got my daily message from Daisy Dementia...I am so humbled and inspired by your attitudes and your ability to articulate your feelings about your wonderful parents. I am blessed to have them in my life all of these years. They are truly giving people. You were raised by the best and fortunately you recognize and appreciate it. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. God bless your family."