My brother, his family and mine are now faced with caring for our parents. I can’t think of a better way to describe the early phase of this process than to borrow the title of a valued resource Maureen and I have found to help us prepare for this journey. The book is called Stuck in the Middle and was written by Barbara McVicker. I will devote more time to this book and why everyone facing this situation should own a copy later. For now, the simple truth is we are stuck in the middle; the middle of our lives, the middle of our career, the middle of caring for kids and grandkids. I guess the event is no stranger to anyone, but I have been quite surprised by some of the issues and feelings that hit me without warning. I would like to share my observation on one of those feeling today.
I feel as though I have done the unthinkable and sneaked a peek behind the curtain. The almighty Oz has been exposed. Our lives as children began with a good healthy fear and respect for our parents. I remember standing on trembling legs before them wondering how they could possibly know I had dismantled the bicycle that I had received from Santa and hacked the forks off of my old bicycle to extend the front wheel of my new bike to look like a chopper motorcycle. It occurred to me much later in life that they simply looked out the window. At the time I was certain that they had magical powers and somehow knew my every move. Dorothy and her friends surely knew this feeling as well as they stood trembling before the all knowing Oz.
Just like you can’t un-ring a bell, you can’t undo the peek. I have seen what’s on the other side; sadly I can’t un-see it. My parents are old and weak. They have no magical powers. They are not all knowing. They are not immortal. Of course you learn this when you are much younger and have your own kids. The curtain becomes thinner and thinner as you see your kids growing up and observe the same wonderment in their eyes. It makes you sad to know that one day they will peek too and see the small frail and scared person you really are. However, nothing prepares you for that final unveiling, that ultimate peek, the truth revealed. They are now dependant on me.
Now I stand before Oz, not trembling with fear but hoping for courage, hoping for a brain, hoping for a heart, but mostly, I just want to go home. God please grant us the courage, knowledge, and compassion that we need.
I'm coming mama...
Just an observation...