The other day I posted something on Facebook.
The post was about parents of adult children and their continued need to be included in the lives of their kiddos. Apparently, this post hit a nerve with my readers/friends list. Apparently, no one wanted to talk about the fact that parents of adult children often get left out of the loop regarding many of the things that occur in their children’s lives. Apparently, there was some conviction speaking out of my comments. I found it interesting that only one person hit a LIKE on that post and re-posted, and she is a mom who has adult children she would like to have be more active in her life.
I posted about his topic because I had spent the weekend with my mom, and observed first hand through our conversations how much she feels excluded in the life of her children.
I don’t think that my moms children-me being one of the three-ever intends to leave her out of the things that are happening in our lives. I think it’s just that we are all so caught up in our own things, and maybe a little bit selfish. We want to take care of us, and we don’t want to have to report in about everything that we’re doing all the time. Shoot, we hardly give it a thought that mom might be sitting up on that hill, alone and lonely, hating herself because she can’t…
Drive any more.
See any more.
Understand complicated processes anymore.
Figure out how to be a part of a family without being a burden, any more.
As I watch my mom navigate through life at this juncture, I’m filled with compassion for her and the situation she finds herself in these days.
Mom has macular degeneration.
My maternal grandmother, mom’s mom, had macular degeneration.
I, myself, will probably at some point get macular degeneration, and it’s a terrible thing.
To not see well, to no longer be able to read a cherished family recipes, to struggle with the most basic of life issues AND to not have your children realize how difficult it is for you to get up and stay hopeful every day is to live a discouraging life.
Seriously, I want to cry as I’m typing this, but what good would that do?
WHAT I NEED TO DO!
What I need to do is be more mindful of what mom is going through.
What I need to do is include mom more often In my plans.
What I need to do is pick up the phone and call mom more often.
What I need to do is provide her with rides to wherever she wants to go, and chat her up while we travel.
Conversation for those who can no longer see is crucial. They need to know you hear them, even as they are losing focus of your face. They need to know you still need them, and want them to be a part of your day. They need to see that you are someone who can set aside your own selfish desires, in order to meet a few of theirs. They need love and understanding and compassion and inclusion.
I’m trying to do better. I think others are trying, too, but maybe losing the battle. I think maybe that is why they didn’t respond in any way to that post I posted on Facebook. I think they feel guilty and less inclusive than they wish they were, but don’t know where to being their journey to caring. I don’t know where to begin, either, but writing this and posting that seemed like the nature place for this writer to start to at least think about setting my life aside for a time and helping mom live hers to the best of her ability. She won’t always be here. I don’t want to live in regret once she’s moved on.
If you’re reading this and you know my mom or are one of her children or grands, or even a great-grand, please know I’m not trying to shame you or blame you for leading your own life and taking care of kiddos you’re trying to raise right now. I’m just sayin’…
Moms of adult children still care about their kids. They still love them. They still want to be a part of their lives. They still need their kids. That is all.
When did you last pick up the phone and call an elderly family member? How often do you pray for your aging mom or dad?