Who wants to help? Who is willing to help in your family? In our case, my brothers and I are all eager to help, if only Mom would let us. But I digress. We want to help, we want to pitch in. One brother is much closer geographically than the other two of us, so he and his wife seem to end up with the long oar more times than not, and that without complaint. Thanks, Tim, in case I haven’t said it yet today.
We look for ways to help, to keep Mom engaged, and with varying degrees of success, we help make her life a little better. We pay bills for her. We each take her out to dinner when we can. Even some of her grandchildren and their wives stop by and take her out to dinner. It’s really great, but it is so limited.
Sometimes, however, what our parents need is a little more space.
Billy Graham, in his latest book, “Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Strong” (a book he wrote several years ago when he was only 93) says that he enjoys visitors, especially family “for about an hour.” After that, he says, it simply takes too much energy. Today in our hurry-up world, we want to squeeze in a month or a year’s worth of visiting in the two or three days (or hours) that we’re willing to allot to our senior family members. The truth is, most of the seniors in our lives, my mom included, loves our company. But, like Reverend Graham says, for ‘about an hour.’ Mom’s energy is not what I remember it to be. So I always find I have to temper my actions to suit her needs, not mine.
So Mom, we love you. We will keep trying our best to make your life easier and nicer. And, yes, you have our permission to ‘kick us out’ after about an hour. I hope this makes you smile . . .