A Lesson I’ve Learned From My Sick Dying Mother

Let’s face it. We will all get old and die…that is, if we are among the lucky ones. Aging is an awesome process to watch. When our bodies transform from an energetic youthful state, into someone who is old and frail, isn’t at all pretty. yet I believe all of us would like to grow old before we die. Along with growing old and frail means giving up a lot of independence in most cases. And that’s not by choice of course, but out of necessity. Most of us will lose a lot of our strength and energy, and with it the ability to function as we always have. Growing old and frail is not so bad, but when it is accompanied with sickness it is heartbreaking to watch.

I’m in a position now of watching my mom endure sickness in her frail elder years. I consider it an honor to be there for her. I try very hard to keep her as comfortable as I can. But she requires a lot of work 24/7, and thankfully I’ve got MY 3 sisters who all help out. We’ve made a workable schedule that we follow. Therefore taking care of mom is not a heavy burden for any of us.

Mom’s bedroom window is low and wide, which gives her a beautiful view of her back yard. She is able to see her pretty green lawn, with the two big mango trees (they are bearing fruit now), and the old boat my father left behind…he died five years ago. She is unable to talk or say very much, but I feel certain that she knows she is in the bedroom of her home…not the hospital or the rehab facility where she lived for the last two months. But instead she is in her own home where she’s lived for more than 40 years.

In the past, mom worked with her church mission who visited the sick and elderly people around the community. They took with them gifts of food and drinks, books and magazines, medical supplies, and whatever else they thought would be useful. They didn’t only visit the individual homes, but they visited the nursing homes as well. I always felt that my mom was providing a good service by working with the mission during her healthier days; but I never valued her work as much as I do now.

I appreciate the work my mom did so much that now I’m a crusader for helping the needy, and giving to healthy causes. Whenever I can, I use my church registry and call some of the elder members who are living at home alone. A few minutes of conversation lifts the spirits and cost nothing. I’ve made a list of things to do that would be helpful to others who are sick or in some way are handicapped.

Some of the things to do includes: In addition to calling them every so often, send a get well card or a short note wishing them well. Visit someone for ten or fifteen minutes and have a short cheerful conversation with them. Take them flowers or a small plant or have it delivered. Offer to run an errand like picking up meds from the pharmacy or getting something for them from the supermarket. Take them to the store or to their doctor’s appointment if needed. Put together a small care package for them. It could include fruits, a box of crackers, cheese, and bottled water.

Other things can be added to this list but it should be something that is not too taxing for you. If you overwork yourself you will be of no help to anyone for very long. Providing service to others is not just helpful, but it is very rewarding. Perhaps you can get involved and offer your time and attention to someone in need.
Healthy trails to you.
Carolyn

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steve
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 16:30:10

    Painful lessons as we all want the wisdom of age, but no one wants the age, so to speak, not for themselves nor for their loved ones, yet we must all take it (or die trying). As my parents age, their well-being and independence (or possible gradually increasing lack thereof) is something I think about more and more.

    Reply

  2. thehealthywarrior
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 19:35:23

    Thanks for visiting today Seve. I appreciate your comments. You are right of course…we all want the wisdom but no one wants the age.. Blessings to you and your family.

    Reply

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