Preserving Integrity

With Respect for the Elderly

Yet another obstacle stands in the way of progress. Some folks may find reward in a challenge, but I’m certainly not one of them. Especially if making a decision is on the itinerary. A solution to me must be painless, minimal risk, and be a perfect fit to everybody involved. If it isn’t, my focus is easily distracted by the opinionated, louder voice.

I have managed to stumble my way through life rather painlessly in spite of myself, but there’s still the ongoing test of time to consider. I remember thinking nothing would ever be tougher than raising my children to be, well… what they are.  Nobody knows how to be a mother, you learn as you go, and hope the combination of common sense and human nature guides you.

Now, the shoe is on the other foot, and my common sense is having serious conflict with human nature. My role as a daughter is on strange new territory, and everything I was brought up to be, is testing what I’m not sure I am.  For the sake of my elderly parents, it’s up to me to be stronger and wiser than they are. But having compassion for their integrity may be just as harmful as denying them their freedom to decide.

Determining the quality of life for anyone is a tough call, sometimes even for ourselves. Little things like responsibility, finance, or illness play a substantial role in the path we take.  Oddly enough, what is simply comfortable is often an acceptable definition of happiness by most.  But as folks climb into their final years, comfort is based largely on routine. Home is the safe place and nobody can argue it’s the best place to be when sick or just plain wore out.

I’m not sure it’s my job to decide anyone’s comfort or happiness until I’m asked to. My parents aren’t sick, they’re old. Perhaps I should concentrate more on what they want, rather than what I think they need. Nature has a way of taking care of itself, same as questions have answers…  when there are ones.

 

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