Both my parents (each in their own ways) were larger than life for me always. My father was always sort of like a Spiritual John Wayne but also extremely intense and intelligent and very spiritual by choice.
He was a minister and also either an electrician or Electrical Contractor all his life as well. My mother's father left when she was 18 and she financially supported her mother and herself from age 18 to 27 when she married my father all by herself. She married my father in 1946. my Mother's mother lived with us mostly from the time I was born until my teens and early 20s. I got my first apartment I think at about 19 years of age but found I didn't like living alone and so I either stayed with my parents after that or with friends or with girlfriends along the way until I married and had a son at age 26 mostly throughout California and Hawaii in Hilo in my 20s.
So, the thing I was least prepared for was my father's passing when I was 37 in 1985. He was such a larger than life person in my life and my mother's life and so into health food and exercise that he had us convinced he would live to 100 or more and likely outlive us both. But, he hated doctors and when he got prostate cancer didn't deal with it properly and so was dead within 5 years time. This was a shock to see my intelligent and always healthy father die like this.
Then though my mother survived my father it was like both of them died in 1985 because she was completely unprepared for life without my father. So she sort of reverted to who she was before I was born when she supported her mother from age 18 to 27. This person was sort of a stranger I didn't really understand because I didn't grow up with her. And worse everything I recommended she do she did the opposite which was difficult so I couldn't take care of her in any way at all.
Next when I took her and my 10 year old daughter in 1999 in the fall to Europe and England and Scotland I wanted to show her where her parents came from from Clydebank (near Glasgow) and from Ayre (south of Glasgow on the coast). But, I didn't realize Mom was 81 then and she was started to slip into Senile Dementia and taking her on this trip took her sort of into Transfer Trauma which often affects people who travel at that age (especially if they aren't used to ever traveling that far like my mother wasn't. She had only been ever to Canada and Mexico and Hawaii and that's it. So, taking her to Europe and England and Scotland was too much for her to deal with I guess. But, I didn't know about all this sort of elder stuff then. I had a lot to learn but that would take almost 10 years to learn it by the time my mother passed away around 90 years of age after falling into a coma with a death rattle and then died from Senile Dementia.
Alzheimers and Senile Dementia are both fatal diseases where people slowly regress back to a child and then to 4 and on down to zero and into a coma usually and then die. For the last 2 years my mother didn't know who I and my son were which was difficult.
So, if you are dealing with elder care in your lives of your spouses or mothers or fathers or uncles or aunts or friends it might be good for you to study what you are going to experience (or not) so you have a better chance of physically and psychologically surviving it.
Losing my mother this way I might not have survived if I didn't have a wife and a family looking back now. It was something really awful to go through if you care at all about your mother or father and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy to go through this it is just so unsurvivable in some ways (unless you are staying alive for your wife and children) which I was.
That's what kept me sane and alive through it was thinking of the rest of my family that was going to stay alive through all this.
By God's Grace
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