Wow- the introspection that Krista and Jane shared on this very tough topic moved me so much. My brother, sister and I have gone through crisis, chronic disease with both parents aging. Our big strong Dad got Parkinson and my independent, assertive Mom came down with Macular Degeneration, then a very slow moving Alzheimers- these diseases all happening- after- multiple heart attacks, breast cancer, perforated bowel, and abdominal aneurism... Mom and Dad taking turns with these horrible illnesses. After selling their home, moving them to independent Sr. care, Nursing Homes and then moving them our brother's small community nursing home 6+ hours away- we have gone through many, many tough times as a family. Our family though was one of the "unusual ones". We did not need repair- even though my sister and I did not always get along as children-we bonded, and then banded together to get things done- and have become much closer in the process. We lost our Dad 3 years ago, and Mom continues to amaze us all in her ability to keep her strength after so many years of her decline, without her rock- Dad. She is one of the few elderly people I know that "graduate" from Hospice- and not by dying- but rallying! This time of stress has been and continues to be a learning curve. We have all grown, we try to see the glass half full in every moment- and continue to learn from our parents as we strive to communicate with Mom through gesture and reading her facial expressions- and recall the things Dad shared with us all as he slid downhill. It is a bittersweet season- and our family has been able to get through it with our shared knowledge and love for our parents and each other. Hopefully our children and grandchildren will be able to do the same.
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