Sorry, kids, but I was never gracious, and it just gets harder and harder. I want the right, at 86, to play kick-the-can, to do whatever I choose, and that right has been forfeited to age and decrepitude, and I mind it terribly. Which makes me a very ungrateful old lady.
Life is a cycle. We start off life as children being cared for by our parents and then become parents ourselves and then to be cared for by our children. To live with and care for an elderly loved one is not an easy thing. On the other hand, it is not an easy thing to be cared for either. Over and above all the medical issues, the time crunches, or the money concerns, oftentimes it is the emotional issues (and even the fighting) that can wear on you.
What you need is a little bit of empathy. Remember, if you will, when you were children and you yearned for your independence. Ah to be able to go where you wanted without reporting to your parents. Remember first time you were able to make choices on your own? Think of that desire for independence now that your elderly parents are now losing theirs and you are now making choices for them.
In the name of empathy, then, especially as we sit down with our loved ones for the holidays – a trying time for some – consider a recent piece reported in The New York Times titled “‘A Very Ungrateful Old Lady.’”
In this instance, the “old lady” is none other than Sheila Solomon Klass. She is an English professor and a blogging grandma at the seasoned age of 86. Nevertheless, Klass is someone’s elderly loved one, too.
As the title of her essay suggests, Klass considers herself a burden and confesses that she is not always good about expressing her gratitude, without expressing frustration instead.
As you click over to her original essay, think about yourself and your own loved ones. Think of A little dose of empathy can go a long ways.
Reference: The New York Times – The New Old Age Blog (November 8, 2013) “‘A Very Ungrateful Old Lady’”