30 September 2012

Honoring our Aging Parents by Laura Frantz

Laura Frantz

Aging Gracefully

When I was a little girl, I memorized the Scriptures that told children to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1: Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.) Now I think more often of the 5th commandment in Deuteronomy: Honor thy father and mother that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. The emphasis for younger children is to “obey” their parents while the focus for adult children is to “honor” their parents.

Recently my mom and step-dad decided to move from Kentucky to Washington State to be closer to me and my family. Since leaving their Kentucky home, several things have happened which have made it hard for them to adjust to a long-distance move. My step-dad was diagnosed with dementia soon after they arrived as well as having a history of heart disease, the latter which has required numerous surgeries and hospitalizations the last 20 years. And my mom, though more able-bodied, is aging quickly and struggling with arthritis and fulltime care-giving.

Now that I live so much more closely to them, I’m struck by the things that makes aging challenging. Roles are often reversed as adult children become the caretakers and fixers and helpers and comforters of parents. People often become more childlike as they grow older. They need help with basic needs, they lose and break things, are unable to do things and require help. They can be fearful and emotional like children. Impulse control lessens and they can strike out like children and say things they wouldn’t otherwise. Challenging, yes!

The Lord knew all this would happen as we are His creation. That’s where the concept of “honoring your parents” becomes so interesting to me. What does this look like? For me, it involves praying daily for wisdom and finding ways to honor them and make them feel loved and respected. It means never belittling their concerns or making light of their struggles. It means responding with patience when I’m interrupted or have to repeat myself or try to hunt for that lost item again or repeat a task with them that has been done many times before. It means loving them no matter what with a Christ-like love, much as they did for me when I was little and needed them.

I love what Charles Wesley said about honoring parents below:

Honor thy father and mother - Hast thou not been irreverent or undutiful to either? Hast thou not slighted their advice? Hast thou cheerfully obeyed all their lawful commands? Hast thou loved and honored their persons? Supplied their wants, and concealed their infirmities? Hast thou wrestled for them with God in prayer?



THREE GIVEAWAYS This week!!!:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Laura’s books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback.

Are you caring for aging parents? Have you in the past? Can you share how you handled this very special season?




77 comments:

  1. I haven't had to deal with this directly though watched others. As a missionary based in southern Texas, probably 95% are Hispanic. You rarely see a nursing home but many adult daycares. Rather than put an aging parent it relative in a nursing home they are moved in with the adult kids. My Hispanic friend married a white boy (55) and they moved his momma in with them. She said their culture just wouldn't allow it. Quite a committment.

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  3. Melody, it must be a comforting feeling to know that your family will take care of you. And I am sure Laura's parents must be very appreciative of all she does for them. Thanks for sharing, Melody!

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  4. LAURA thank you for this article, I am now going through this same thing with my mom. She is almost 86 and she has good days and bad but I am so thankful I still have her. :)

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  5. My 81 year old mother lives with my husband and I. As my father was dying my husband assured him we would take care of her. When it became apparent she could not live by herself, my son and daughter rented a place big enough for the three of them. When they married she moved in with us. We have been together for the last 8 years. As her heart and diabetes have gotten worse we have found it more difficult to help her. She is afraid of losing her independence. At times I have to come across as harsh to make her do what is best for her health. It is a tough position to be in. My husband works from home so that he is here with her during the day. I am glad that I am able to take care of her while still giving her some freedom.

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  6. SANDRA, thank you for sharing. I can imagine how hard it is for your mother, too, to have to rely upon her daughter and son-in-law to provide her care. It is frightening to lose your functioning. Sounds like you work outside the home and your hubby works at home--what a blessing to have such a loving and caring husband! I bet your mom is so glad to have a daughter and her family who give her so much care!

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  7. LAURA, thank you for sharing! I liked it when you said: "The emphasis for younger children is to “obey” their parents while the focus for adult children is to “honor” their parents."
    I honestly never really thought about this. For me it's just something that is happening, without having given it any thought so far. You are so right about it! Thanks for alerting me to this!

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  8. I am an "only" so when my parents were 86 and 82, we sold both homes and built a two family home...they had their own apartment. Dad only lived 3 yrs. Mom lived 10 (she had Alzheimers the last 3). It was a blessing to take care of them, but hard and only God got me through it!!
    Jackie S.

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  9. JACKIE, I think the Amish may have the right idea. My brother moved in with my parents when my dad got really ill and later died. And he stayed on with my mom who several years later developed cancer and died. I am glad God got you through the hard parts, Jackie. Hugs!

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  10. I could write a book about all this! After taking care of my adult daughter for almost two years while she battled a brain tumor, I was exhausted beyond words. My elderly mother had moved to the Midwest from CA in order to be near my daughter. It was great for my daughter...but so hard on me. Mom lived in a retirement community and wanted to be independent as long as possible. We wanted that for her as well, but as time went on, she needed more care. Since I was working fulltime after my daughter passed away, I could not care for my Mom physically and emotionally. I was spent following my daughter's death. We knew that my 90 plus mom needed to be in a nursing home for her safety and my sanity. My sister and I knew that if she remained as independent as she wanted to be, then she was going to end up with a serious injury. That would have been neglectful on our part. A nursing home is not always the solution but for our Mom, it was the safest solution. That is how we have honored her and continue to monitor her cares constantly and visit regularly. My Mom is now 98. Laura, you are a dear to bring up this topic because it is one that many of us can relate to. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  11. ELAINE, I am so sorry about the loss of your daughter. Sometimes, like you said, that is the safest situation for everybody. TERESA's mom requires nursing home care, also. Thanks so much for your wonderful input and dialogue on this topic, Elaine!

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  12. Melody, We sure learn a lot by watching others and I do know, from having a pastor brother in Spain, that cultures vary so much. The situation you describe does involve a huge commitment. My prayers are with them - am glad you shared that here. Bless you for being here and adding so much to the discussion!

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  13. Prayers with you and your mom, Teresa. Being 86 is not easy, nor is being a daughter and helping parents through this season. You have a beautiful attitude - so thankful that you still have her. I think that, too, and remember all the care she's given me over the years - and how much her prayers for me have meant, too. Bless you and your sweet mom!!

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  14. Sandra, You and your your husband and family are giving your mom a wonderful gift - letting her live as independently as she can for as long as she can. I know just what you mean about almost feeling harsh. We become almost a parent to our parent at this stage, having to make decisions and trying to do what is best for them, which sometimes seems the opposite of helpful to them! So thankful your husband can be at home working and helping her during the days. As hard as it can be for everyone, you'll look back at this time and see all the hidden blessings. Though it sounds like you're doing this already. God bless you and your family!

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  15. Marian, It didn't occur to me either that there's a slight shift in our attitudes toward our parents as we age and they age - from obey to honor. I had to think about it for awhile, too:) Bless you for your comments. They always add so much!

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  16. Jackie, WOW - being an only and doing all that you did was and is so God-honoring - and such a blessing to your parents. I'm sure, hard as it was, you look back on that time with a conviction you did the right thing though it was very difficult. I think often we don't count the emotional cost of it all. For me that's the hardest thing to deal with, other than watching my parents age and suffer ill health. I "feel" so badlly for them and dementia brings its own set of issues. Am sure you understand that first hand. Bless you for sharing that and being an example of what a loving daughter, with God's strength, is capable of doing!

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  17. Elaine, You have been through so much yet your graceful spirit shines through. I am so sorry about your losses but you've handled them beautifully. I'm also thankful for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They're a blessing for both the residents and families who need that route. It's coming for our family, too, and I pray we find the right one. Safety truly is paramount as often our aging loved ones can't accept their limitations or don't want to.

    You write aging characters so well in your novels. I think I know where that richness comes from:)

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  18. Carrie, Given your clinical background, I'm sure you've seen many famiiles who have all sorts of relational issues involving aging, etc. Plus you've navigated this very difficult road yourself with elderly parents. Never easy but so much depends on our attitude. And prayer and reliance on the Lord to walk us through.

    Thanks very much for having me here. I'm so touched by the discussion and all that everyone has shared personally!

    Thanks so much

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  19. Absolutely, LAURA, attitude, prayer, and reliance on God is the key when making choices. One thing I shared with you personally was a situation where we were unable to afford a trip we needed to make to the west coast and my husband and son had to also come with me. Although I'd been very ill I obeyed God and my hubby supported our choice to go forward with the trip. When we returned, God blessed us with a bonus for Jeff that covered almost the exact cost of the trip. We never regretted following God's leading. And it was the last time I was able to see my mother in person and have her speak to me.

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  20. Oh, that's just the sort of personal blessing that speaks to God's faithfulness when we are obedient even in the very hard things. I'm so gald you shared this. It spurs us on to follow the Lord's leading every time. That you did it when you were very ill reaped a special blessing, I'm sure. Wow - and what a memory you created as it was the last time you saw your precious mom here on earth. I foresee a very sweet heavenly reunion one day!

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  21. Carrie, Please forgive my typos! I'm so touched by your story. Must be the tears in my eyes. This is such a blessing and encouragement.

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  22. Hi Laura, my grandfather has dementia, so I know only too well. God bless you, and I will remember this in my prayers for you. Caring for and honoring my grandparents is easy, but honoring my mother is where conviction digs deep and I get clumsy and awkward. I've forgiven her for the hurts in my past, but its difficult to watch her live rent free and with free electricity in my grandmother's old farmhouse, and then still look for ways to take advantage of my grandmother and dad. But then, God didn't say, "only honor your mother and father if they're good people with good intentions". He said to honor them. Period. This is something I struggle with and really need to work on. Bless you for the reminder. :-)

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  23. LAURA, I'm sorry I'm so late getting here. Computer woes again, but the situation seems to be resolved now.

    Thank you so much for your touching post--now I know more how to pray for you. You were talking about showing patience with your aging parents--not easy to do when you are dog tired sometimes I'm sure. I haven't had to go through this with my parents, as I have lost both of them, but I know your parents are very blessed to have a daughter with such a lovely attitude of honor towards them as you have.

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  24. I am also so touched with the way CARRIE honors her mother and father in law, even though they are not her parents biologically, but her husband's. Not everyone does that and great will be your reward, CARRIE. Look at what awesome blessings Ruth reaped by honoring her mother-in-law!

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  25. What a wonderful, poignant post, Laura. The Wesley quote was beautiful and so fitting to this topic. Bless you as you minister, yes, minister, to you parents. And to others as well as they do so, I do so.

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  26. DIANA, thank you! Wesley's words and Laura's comments are true whether it is for inlaws or biological parents. I don't always do so great but I try to honor them and am SO grateful my inlaws gave me my husband!

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  27. Gwen, My heart - and prayers - go out to you as you have a very full plate. But you also are armed with a wonderful insight - that God wants us to honor our parents no matter where they might be (or not be) in their walk with Him. We're to reflect the love of Christ even when they don't. And sometimes we fail but He will supply fresh grace. I often find comfort in the fact that the Lord sees the end of the story, so to speak, in ways that we can't. He promises to always bring good out of hard things. That's something to hold onto when things get especially difficult. I'm praying for your entire household and for you (but you already know that:). God bless you for being His hands and feet right where you are.

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  28. I took care of my Grandma and Grandpa when they were living. Grandpa had Alzheimer's. It was sad to watch him that way because he was the best storyteller. I'm glad I was able to ask him so many questions about his childhood and family. He was 95 when he passed 8 years ago. Grandma passed last year, six months short of being 100. She didn't didn't have to move into a nursing home until the last two weeks of her life. They were so special to me and thank God that gave me those two gifts to me. They are the reason I am who I am today!
    Thanks, Laura, for sharing your story!
    Amy C
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  29. Diana, So glad you're here. And I DO understand about those computer issues. Mine is slow as a slug lately!

    So glad you mentioned Ruth and Carrie's honoring her in-laws. We're to honor them even if they're out-laws, so to speak;) I'm currently deep into Liz Curtis Higg's new The Girl's Still Got It. WOW! At the end of each chapter she shares a little story called "Ruth in Real Life" taken from readers own personal experiences with in-laws. Very moving.

    So glad you and Carrie include in-laws here as that is vitally important. And oftentimes they become as dear or more dear than biological parents!

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  30. Carla, I just knew you'd like the Wesley quote:) We like the same poignant things. And you're so wise and thoughtful to bring out the ministry aspect of loving and honoring our parents and in-laws. It really is ministry at its heart. So happy to see you here!

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  31. Amy, I'm so touched by your very loving, giving heart and the fact you were the caregiver for your 2 grandparents. Your honor of them shows in every word you share here! I know they treasured that time with you just as much as you did them. So glad you were able to ask your Grandpa about his past and that he was a wonderful storyteller in his lifetime. I've found that some of those early members are still intact with dementia/alz. which is a blessing. But like you said, watching the memory go is very difficult in ways you don't realize till you experience it firsthand like you did.

    I was very close to my granny, too, and she died right before my first novel was published which I dedicated to her. She was almost 100 like yours. And like you, I feel she was God's gift to me. So much of her is in my first story. I miss her so much.

    Your comments mean so much to me. Thanks for taking time to share them here!

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  32. My parents have both died and it happened quickly for both of them. I was 31 when my mom died and 44 when my dad died. We did have to take care of them for a bit - especially my mom as she was bedridden for most of my teenage years until she died. It is tough but worth it to give back while you can.

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  33. MICHELLE, I can't imagine how hard that must have been! My mom had cancer when I was 12 and was gone for off and on I think almost two years back and forth to a hospital a few hundred miles away. When I was 16 my father had a major stroke and lost his speech, etc., but later slowly recovered most of his functioning. I got my parents back. What a blessing you were able to take care of them. DIANA and I are both "adult orphans" like you.

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  34. Michelle, So good to see you here. You said something so key - "it is tough but worth it to give back while you can." That says so much. You are a beautiful example of going the extra mile and then some. I see that same endurance in your novels:) BTW, I've had to put your latest aside as I've been hit by endorsements and my own work but can't wait to return. Prayers with you today as you write and do all else.

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  35. Carrie, I had no idea about your earlier history with your parents. That must have been so hard being 12 - or any age, really. But 12 is a very sensitive age. I was 12 when my parents divorced after 20 years of marraige and it was like a death to me. But that's another topic entirely.

    Like your term "adult orphans" as that is truly what it is.

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  36. I read that term on Wall Street Journal a few months back. There are lots of adult orphans within the baby boomer generation. My father lost his mother when he was 12 and his father while Dad was over in the European theater for the battle of the Bulge. My maternal grandmother died at 42 when my mom was 21. That kind of history affects you.

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  37. Yes, it really does affect you/us/others, Carrie. Life is all about loss, I'm finding, though the Lord bring us through each one if we let Him. Heaven will be wonderful when we face no more of this!

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  38. I helped to take care of my mom that died of cancer. She remained in her home until her death 3+ years ago. We did not speak of her dying because we prayed for her healing until her death. I know she is in Heaven and I will see her again so that is comforting to me.

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  39. I haven't gotten to that stage yet in my life, though I can where it can be very difficult! I have watched my parents as they have taken care of my grandparents over the years and at times it can be hard, because we want the best for them and to help them when they are ailing. But yes, praise God they will be withour pain in heaven!

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

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  40. Diane, Oh, you must miss her very much. But yes, you will see her again which is truly a wonderful comfort. Love that you prayed for her till the end which was in a sense the real beginning for her. My mom often reminds me, when I pray for healing for others, and they die, that the ultimate healing is heaven so our prayers were indeed answered. It's given me a whole new perspective on prayer and healing and heaven. Thanks so much for being here.

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  41. Faye, Sounds like your parents are providing a good example of faithfully caring for your grandparents over the years. I think we can all rejoice in the hope and healing heaven offers! You're so right about that:) JOY! So good to see you here.

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  42. Such rich comments here, a special time of sharing with everyone and a topic that often goes unattended. Thanks, Carrie, for inviting Laura here to discuss this. Laura, your reply to Diane about what your Mom reminds you about God's ultimate healing is so true, in wise to remember. Thanks for mentioning that.

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  43. Both of my parents are aging. It gets hard sometimes when they forget something or they don't listen. I feel alone sometimes, but then I just have to stop and pray. It is amazing how GREAT God is! Sometimes it's like a release, I feel my impatiens, anger, fear, and sadness just slip off of me like a sheet :)

    God is SO GOOD!!! :)

    Thanks you for this opportunity! Please enter me!

    Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) Chavez

    amada_chavez[AT}yahoo{DOT]com

    Isaiah 41:10

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  44. Thank you for such a sensitive post, Laura. It can sometimes be a great challenge to honor one's parents, showing them the respect they deserve, while being very needy.

    I lived three thousand miles away from my parents when my mother was dying 33 years ago and when my father was incapacitated for six years before his passing 10 years ago. Lots of trips and never feeling like I was there enough for them was frustrating. I'm so glad your folks came west to be near you, particularly prior to your stepfather's diagnosis. God is good!

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  45. I tended my mother-in-law for awhile. It wasn't always easy, but I knew she appreciated it. I'd love to win one of Laura's books. Thanks!
    Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  46. Amada, Love your name, BTW:) And your description of what happens when we are filled with God's grace is such a lovely, memorable one! Thanks so much for being here and sharing your thoughts and entering the drawing.

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  47. Carla, I'm so glad that speaks to you, too. Leave it to a Mom to offer comfort and wisdom that way. I know you have that kind of relationship with your mom, also:)

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  48. Janet, I've often thought being long distance and trying to manage everything would be so difficult. You remind me that this move was good despite the heartaches and hardships for them. Thanks so much for that. Your loving spirit shines through your comments and I really appreciate them.

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  49. Maxie, You're right - caregiving is hard but much sweeter when appreciated. I'm glad that happened with you and your MIL.

    So happy you're ready to read:) Thanks for stopping and entering the drawing!

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  50. Since I'm still a teenager, my parents aren't that old either. I'm thankful that they haven't had many health problems!

    Can't wait to read this book!!!

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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  51. Thanks so much for that post Laura. My mother is like that... exhibiting childish and immature qualities often. I've often felt like I was the parent. In the past few years and even just as recent as yesterday, I have found it particularly difficult though when because of those qualities she can extremely hurtful. It's been a good reminder in reading your post, to remember to honour your parents, regardless. It is so hard though when you just want to run..
    Bless you Laura xx

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  52. MARISSA, your day will come my dear--learn from Laura! Thanks for coming by, sweetie!

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  53. NOELA, I know you already have your plate full, like me. My mom was getting really forgetful at the end but with the cancer and all I really believe that just aggravated everything and she was so weak. She did not say hurtful things, thank God, like some elderly parents do. My mom was a Kentucky lady, like Laura--didn't repeat gossip nor act ungraciously toward people. A great example to me and I wish I followed her ways better!

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  55. Really awesome reminder! My parents aren't elderly but my mom has been in a wheelchair my entire life which puts all of the work on the shoulders of the oldest in the house (currently my sis and me-though there are 4 older than us). I have to admit I am not patient in the least and I know it's something to I really need to work on. I'm careful to not complain in front of them but I often give my sibs an earful. Thank you for the encouragement to truly honor my parents at all times!
    gatorade635(at)gmail(dot)com

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  56. I can only imagine how hard it is for your mom, too, Abbi. Because she has to rely on the very children she hoped to care for herself. And I imagine she has done the best she can. Will pray for you. Patience is indeed a virtue. And it can be cultivated.

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  57. Marissa, So happy you're in a season where you can love and appreciate your parents when they - and you - are younger and well. That's such a gift! Thanks for being here!

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  58. Noela, My heart goes out to you as those hurtful words stay with us but can be healed by God's grace. I know what you mean and will pray for your mom and you. You're so right that parents can become chiildish and hurtful, even spiteful, as they grow older. I try to remember that this is the illness talking or that old sin nature rearing its ugly head. Still, it hurts. God bless you as you try to respond in a Christlike way.

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  59. Abbi, That must be very hard for you - having lived with you mom as an invalid or semi-invalid for so long. If it's any encouragement, I always thought I had a lot of patience - and then I had children and aging parents! If not for God's help, I couldn't do it. And I've failed too many times. Prayers with you and your mom and siblings that God will be right in the midst of your situation and give you all the strength (and longsuffering and patience) needed. Thanks so much for your heartfelt comments here.

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  60. Carrie, Thanks again for hosting me here. Truly, it's an honor. I'll be here tonight to check back in and also tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for making this posting so meaningful by your heartfelt comments!

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  61. what a beautiful posting, laura...i share your sentiments. enjoy every moment w/ your parents...and take lots of pictures :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  62. Karen, You're so wise - and thoughtful! YES, pictures are so important! And I'm guilty of not taking enough of them but you've spurred me on to do that more often, especially with the holidays coming. Bless you for being here!

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  63. Glad you have you visit with us Laura and share your journey!

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  64. I forwarded this article to my husband. I took care
    of the Dad for 10 months before he passed away. I am now the oldest in my family and am finding myself to be more insecure as I get older, just like
    my Mom was before she passed away 10 years ago.
    I know my husband has difficultly dealing with my memory loss that is caused my a medication I have to take. He is older than me, but still see's himself as younger. I don't mind being old, because I love being a grandma. :)
    godblessamerica.jan(at)gmail(dot)com

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  65. Laura, I love this post. I absolutely relate.

    My stepfather died last February and my mother who was very ill at the time came to live near me in an assisted living home. Although Mom has full time care I am still very much involved in her life, managing her finances and her property in Washington, making sure she has the little odds and ends that she might need, getting her to doctor visits, and taking her out just for fun at least once a week. I visit often and we chat or watch special television shows together or listen to music or play one the games offered to the residents where she lives. We just got back from a trip to her home in Washington State--an arduous journey for us both, but a great blessing.

    Being deeply involved is a gift, but it hurts too. My mother is a dear soul and aging is a difficult process. It hurts to watch her suffer the loss of her health and strength. And yet, I am blessed because I get to spend this time with her.

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  66. Jan, I understand what you say here on so many levels. My prayers are with you and your husband. You're in that sensitive spot of being aware you're aging and feeling more insecure and also the impact that has on your loved ones. Medication can cause a great deal of physical and/or memory loss/impairment yet must be taken anyway. Love your attitude about being a grandma. I bet you're a wonderful one! I look forward to aging if only because I get to enjoy my grandchildren one day. I think that's God's special gift to us to help us in our older years. Thanks so much for your very thoughtful comments:)

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  67. Bonnie, Wonderful to see you here! After talking to you in Portland at our book signing and reading your comments here, I'm struck again by how faithful you are. I know you're too humble to dwell on that but you've inspired me to go the extra mile with my mom and step-dad and be deeply involved.

    Love when you say being deeply involved is a gift but it hurts, too. That's the part I didn't reckon with - the emotional wrench of watching an able body person who was larger than life to you lose so much over time. Yet I know it's a part of God's plan, the fall, and will make eternity all the sweeter.

    Prayers with you and your mom. I'd love to meet her one day. And I do hope to meet up with you again soon. Our time together in May just wasn't quite long enough!

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  68. I haven't had to bear the brunt of it, but my family's been taking care of my grandma ... I know my mom has been getting stressed about it recently. I should forward her this to her later --It's been encouraging to me just reading these posts. =)

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

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  69. My dad passed away in 92' and my mom later sold their home and moved into apartment near my sister (who did not work). She was very independent and then her sister and her best friend moved into the same complex and were all in the same building on the first floor. My mom stopped driving in 2006 after truck ran into her but she still did her shopping and beauty shop every week thanks to my sister who took her out. My sister found her one morning, Jul 06' when she went by to get some info from her for doctors office. She had talked to my sister-in-law about 10pm the night before and was OK. She was on the couch with the paper in her hand reading. They say she died from heartattack fast without any pain. She was alone but happy that she had her own place and was still active. I know she was happy to see my dad. They had one of the sweetest loves I have ever seen. I miss her so much as well as my dad and baby brother who died in 2003.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  70. Well, I'm still in college so I haven't had to deal with this yet, but thanks for the post and the giveaway. :)

    biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  71. I haven't had to deal with this yet either, but I have had to watch my mom take care of my grandpa. He had cancer for many years and was in and out of the hosptial for most of my life, and she diligently stayed by his and my grandma's side the entire time. He passed away six years ago, but God has given me the peace that I'll see him again. =)

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

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  72. I'm still pretty young, but as I've seen others say...I've helped my mom care for my grandparents. My grandpa had a stroke when I was pretty young and, although, he's much better now, it did change him in some ways. It brought our family closer, which is something to be thankful for.

    Emreilly303(at)gmail(dot)com

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  73. I've had to care for my parents for the last couple of years. They still live in the house I grew up in, so I drive back and forth once a week to drive my mom to the store and to bring them to the doctor. God has been extremely gracious to us through the years. And I'm grateful for this time spent with them.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Dreilly316(at)gmail(dot)com

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  74. My dad passed away in 2006 after I had taken care of him for many years. He and my mom lived two houses away, so I was able to go over and help my mom take care of him. I've also had to take care of my mom, who has had a mini-stroke and two heart attacks. Thankfully she lives with us now, which helped when she had the heart attacks!

    jennycohen104(at)gmail(dot)com

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  75. My mom had heart problems due to an illness she had when she was young. I had to take care of her when I was younger, and later i had to go down to Florida when she was dying and passed away in 1992. It was a rough time, but I'll always cherish the moments I was able to spend with her before she passed.

    icohen62(at)gmail(dot)com

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  76. The Reillys and Cohens love Laura Frantz's writing, too, I can tell. Thanks for sharing your journeys with us.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Gwen Gage, Congrats!!! You are the third winner, chosen by random.org.

    ReplyDelete

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