Friday, January 01, 2010

Generations -- by Robin

This past weekend, my 91 year old dad came to stay with us, as he does often when his live-in aide goes home some weekends. He sleeps on a cot in Seth's room, and I've always felt that it was a nice bonding experience for the two of them.

It's getting to the point now, though, as Seth gets older, that he's becoming less 'n less tolerant of my dad's snoring and getting up frequently to visit the bathroom. It's been waking him up, and he doesn't want him in his room anymore. So, we may move the cot into the living room. That would be a bit of a longer walk for my dad to the bathroom, but he could potentially manage.

I found myself sad during this stay. I miss what my dad was. He spends so much time complaining about how he feels, that it leaves me depressed. I want to treasure our time together...and his time with Seth....I just wish it could be a beat more upbeat....even if not perfect.

Is this what happens when someone gets old? Is it to be expected that their health becomes a primary topic of ongoing discussion? My dad says that when he goes to the senior center for lunch, everyone shares about their ailments. I guess it gives them some level of comfort to know they're not alone, but isn't it better not to dwell on it constantly?! If you do, then I would imagine it can take over your thoughts, and what kind of life is that?! Say it...get it out...and then move on.

I don't want to pass judgment. Who knows what I'll be like as a senior citizen?

I feel blessed to have my dad, but I have to be gentle with myself as well, and allow the feelings that come up for me. Even, if that means taking a break from listening to him. I just don't want to get angry, but sometime I can't help it.

My dad laughs when he talks about how many doctor appointments friends of his have...and he has his weekly share as well.

The weekend left me with tremendous guilt, which I know I don't deserve. I had the need to escape my dad at one point and took myself to the movies. Marc watched Seth, and my dad was napping. The break did me good.

A friend wrote to me that I should do something fun with my father. But, the problem is, he isn't up for much. He gets tired easily and frequents the bathroom. He does enjoy eating out, so we always at the very least do that.

When my dad returned home, I felt relief. He's in good hands with his aide, and I can speak to him on the phone as I do daily (more than once), and not feel quite as immersed in his negative talk. I'm blessed that my six year old is upbeat and makes me laugh. He is good company, and when he makes my dad laugh, and forget his age for a moment, I have visions of what my dad was like when I was young. It warms my heart because I know no one will love me like my dad, and there's alot to be said for that. And, I'm thankful that Seth knows his grandpa, snoring and all.


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