There is a special place in heaven for my parents.
Today, my mother is caring for her parents in their home. She isn't visiting. She is there. She is up every night helping my grandfather with breathing treatments, bathroom visits, listening to him tell stories in his dreams. She is there in the day to help the daytime caregiver, to take them to appointments, to call the doctor to adjust medications, to talk with the Hospice nurses. But mostly, she is there. She is the familiar in this frightening time for them. She is the pat on the back, the hundredth hug a day for my grandmother, the constant connection to the happier past for them both.
Today, my father sits at the hospital with his mother who fell in the middle of the night. Even in my mother's absence...even while he has traveled almost daily for work...has washed clothes, called the doctor, picked up things she needs, checked in with her caregivers, and taken her for walks in the sunshine. But mostly, he is there. He is the familiar in this frightening time for her. He is the pat on the hand, the hug, the constant connection to the happier past for her.
Mom and Dad are living in different states, sleeping in different beds, generously giving up this time together, their own comfort, and their own plans to be where they are needed for a little while. And they serve their parents with joy and love and thankfulness. I believe that true goodness comes from the heart...the love in one's heart. I see that in both of them and their sacrifices.
There will come a day when these chores will no longer be necessary. Life is that way. This burden will be lifted from my parents. It will be a sad day, but I know in my heart that neither will have regrets. They will have these few precious days to hold in their hearts. I hope that, when the opportunity comes for me to care for a loved one, that I will recognize the gift as they have.
I love you guys.