Collateral Damage

J:  When people hear that our parents are living on the street where they spent most of their married life and are living with E across the street from me they marvel.  I imagine some type of Norman Rockwell family scene enters their mind and they think "what an amazing family"  

Not

Our family is fractured.  We were never a real tight knit group. Birth order, boy/girl ratio, parenting style- I'm not sure what it was that rendered our family anything but close.  But the fact is that, while there were a few alliances throughout the years, the reality of our parents' illness and their subsequent need for care has severed what remained of these alliances.  Some believe they would be better served in a facility, maybe because this would level the playing field amongst the siblings. I'm sure the siblings that are out of town feel some level of guilt because they aren't involved with their care.  I'm sure those of us dealing with our parents on a daily basis often feel overwhelmed by the task, and maybe that translates into being less than patient and kind with our siblings.  Whatever the case, our family ties have suffered.

So what's the solution?  Every time I think of my parents I am reminded of the Hippocratic oath that doctors take "First do no harm".  Putting them in a facility would be harmful to them.  I am certain of this.  So we persevere, our tight unit on the Parkway.  Will we be able to heal the hurt that this decision has caused?  I guess that remains to be seen.

Today marks 16 months that they have lived with E.  I watched E's son lovingly feeding Sweet T on Valentine's Day and I thought "wow, we have created a beautiful thing". Here.  On the Parkway. Sadly, not anywhere else.