Thanks again for your reactions. I read them all!!
I am sitting behind my computer and feel exhausted. I want to write about a different type of freedom and old age. The freedom we lose when we get more and more dependent on other peoples help. Which is ofcourse also the case when we are so unfortunate to get (seriously) ill.
The reason is that we have had some hectic weeks behind us. The parents of my husband are still alive. My sweet mother in law is 86 and gets more and more forgetful. My father in law – who is also 86 and played 4 times a week tennis! – takes care of her. And ofcourse it is becoming more and more exhausting to him. I see the struggle with them as with my own parents who died a long time ago, when the moment comes that they have to face the hard truth. That they become dependent of others because they can’t drive a car any more or can not put on their stockings. Even worse when it becomes intimate and they need help with washing etc. and (kind) strangers are walking around in the house to help.
Being independent is as you know important to me. So I feel a lot of empathy with this struggle.
Well what happened. We were very focused on our mother in law. But than the unthinkable happened. My father in law stood up from a chair, became unwell and fell very unfortunate. As a result he had to stay in hospital for 2.5 weeks and we feared for his life. But in the same time my mother in law could not stay alone at home. So the family has been there (sleeping, cooking etc.) for almost 3 weeks. And the children don’t live nearby! But it was extra exhausting because besides the worries, decisions have to be taken which have impact on the life of their parents and their freedom. And ofcourse because not everybody has the same idea about the necessary solutions, the parents are reluctant and the realisation that they as a child are starting to take care of their parents now.
Its confronting but for me also very recognisable. I had to deal with the same issues with my brothers when my parents got older and died.
I sometimes wonder how I will react to the fysical changes when I get old(er). Hope I will be sensible and stop driving a car when it’s no longer possible. My father used to park his car everywhere when he was at high age…. I can laugh about it now but I was always worried he would cause an accident where others would be involved. Will I take measures and use this rollator, buy a much smaller house or go in time to a more suitable home etc. etc. I hope I will, but maybe my parents and relatives thought the same when they were younger…..
Well for now the situation is under control and we are all happy my father in law is at home again.
Till next time,
Warm greetings, Jellaso