I am a Reluctant, but Proud Care Partner
by Christy Hoover,
PAC Internal Projects
I almost feel guilty about saying I am a reluctant care partner. I look in on my mother, who is 85 years old and somewhat capable of taking care of herself. My father recently passed away and she is on her own for the first time in her life. I have a 17-year-old daughter, and I have my mother. I find that I am teaching and showing them similar things.
At first, my agenda was to show my mother what had to be done to care for the house and her affairs. My older brother and sister live across the country, so the day-to-day is left up to me. I set up her bills to pay automatically; I interviewed and hired a yard service; we spoke to an attorney about all the things we had to change from my father’s name into her name. The list goes on and on. To make matters more challenging, my mother lives in a large three-story house and has two bad knees making it hard to walk. Ugh. I really wanted my mother to move to a smaller, more manageable house. That was number one on my agenda.
Well, that was my first mistake. My agenda. My mother is a capable human being who had assistance but did not need to be told what to do. She had lived with a man for 63 years who practically made all the decisions and it was her time now. She had to lean on me heavily for many things. The key word is lean.
When I put my agenda aside and focus on my mother, things get done. When my mother makes a mistake, and there are a lot, I correct the mistake and move on. Although I am a reluctant care partner, I am proud and honored to assist my mother. If there is anything additional in this for me, it is showing my daughter about compassion and love. Reluctant, yes, but an extremely proud care partner.