Monday, October 24, 2011

Watching Our Parents Age

Nothing in Life prepares us for the experience of watching our Parents as they age, which often comes with declining health. Watching them as they lose the ability to enjoy the activities they once enjoyed, is hard enough; yet not near as difficult as watching them as they become unable to do even the simple everyday tasks necessary to take care of themselves.

I am writing about this because both I and my Husband have elderly Fathers. We have been facing this situation in the past several years, and more acutely, in the past several months with my Husbands Father Jay.

To describe Jay in a few words would be: Tough, stubborn beyond stubborn, and extremely proud. I must add that beneath the tough exterior, lies a man who deeply loves his Family and his dog, and who would often choke up if told a sad story, though God forbid he should cry! I truly thought on several occasions that he was indeed choking, when in fact he was fighting to hold back a tear!
A Marine Drill Sargeant for 4 years during the Korean War, and for many years a Private Investigator, Jay was tough and fearless!

Fast forward to the present. Only this afternoon Jay was taken by ambulence to the V.A. Hospital; for the third time in as many months. Unable to stand on his own, he had taken a couple of falls in the past few days in his struggle to pull himself up by his walker. The walker which he had never had to use, until recently. Suffering from heart failure, barely able to eat, and recently put on oxygen, Jay is a shell of the man he once was. Yet.... still, up until last evening he was refusing to go back to the hospital, and had seemed to have lost the fight... the will to live. No one was going to tell him how he was going to live his life!!! How do you reason with a man who has an iron will, and his mind made up?  My Husband and his Sister had tried, many times, to get their Father to realize he needed to be back in the Hospital, but to no avail; until today.

To Be Continued.............