I was drawn to the speaker's notion of repair, redemption perhaps even renewal of family bonds that can happen in family life during this time. I think being a caregiver to my parents is teaching me a lot more about who they were, their hopes and dreams, and the ups and downs of our relationships. That notion of "becoming who you were when you were ten" was a scary reality. Succumbing was circumvented only by the grace and love of my wife who accompanied me in the mission to be caregiver of my parents. My dad has since died, my mother continues her journey (rediscovering herself).
I left home at 13. Not totally, I went back for visits and brought their grandchildren back for visits, but usually I loved many miles away. When I returned to live in the same city i was 54 and supposedly older and wiser. My dad was failing due to Alzhiemers aggravated by his drinking. Our first "battle" was driving. The auto was a defining characteristic of his persona, and "taking away" the keys was a harsher reality than just giving up transportation. Even at his dying, he would talk about his 39 Ford Zephyr. Eventually, as the author suggested "annoyance did soften into tenderness."
My mother fights aging in her own way. She keeps busy and doesn't look. She jokes that God gave her only one good eye and ear, and she could easily turn the other way to avoid that which she disliked. But with her good eye and ear she laughs and adds color and creativity to life as she knows it.
Being a caregiver has been much more than I ever thought it would be. The painful agony and death of my father is etched into my memory. My parents have not been easy to care for. They have added stress and edge to my life, my marriage, and my other relationships. But I agree with the author that it has made some distinctive changes in my life and relationships.
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