I am home now for a few days, and am settling back into the strange rhythm of being home alone. Poor DH is down there in Florida dealing with Doctors and case workers and confusion and frankly, I'm glad to be here. I have simply vegged out for the past few days - working on a sweater that I started in Florida, sorting out laundry, working etc. All the normal stuff.
I think that everyone knows that no matter how old you are, and how old your parents are, and how independent one is....the fear of change and loss is always the same. Sure, it's easier to rationalize death when someone is 85 years old - but all the old adages of "she lived a good life" and "she's no spring chicken" fall flat when it is a parent. When my dad died, I certainly expected it, and it was no surprise to any of us but we would have given alot for a few extra years. (I miss dad - miss seeing him at the house, miss his snarky comments)
My MIL has been a widow since she was 42 years old with two teenage children at home. She lost a baby when it was two days old. She lost a daughter who was 53. One sister died, the other lives in Long Island but it's "too far to travel". Neither of her sisters ever had children so no nieces and nephews. But the past 4 years have been a time of relief for her in many ways. Once Lucile (her daughter) died, MIL moved away from Washington where she had been helping Lu with her kids and with a lousy illness. We rented her a lovely apartment near my parents, and she has made friends, goes to the movies every Sunday, plays tennis and bridge and goes to the gym. I think that despite everything in her life, we've helped her live the past 4 years free from worry - and I'm so glad we did that. She's friends with my mom, they get along great.
What am I trying to say? I'm not really sure. I just know that the next few months are going to be an interesting journey for us all. My optimistic side says "she's go on for a year and not have misery or pain and things will be OK". My realistic medical side says "nah - not so much".
I'm going to learn alot about myself, and my hubby that's for sure.
Thank you all again for your support and good wishes. Some of you have gone thru this already, some haven't - and while there certainly is no rule book to follow - it helps to know how other have navigated the elderly parents waters.