Friday, July 15, 2016

Aging Parents

Most of us have aging parents, some in good health, others not and then there are those of us who have sadly already lost either one or both mom and dad. No matter what age we are or what age they are, it isn’t easy for any of us. A good parent devotes much of their life to their children and we can't help but feel a void when they are gone even in our later years.
'Your Dad was a character!' ...well, yes he was!

An anniversary photo of yore

In the garage at the Zurich, On farm house, Daddy shows off

My father passed away when I was 41 and he was in his 72nd year. Daddy, as all  8 siblings fondly called him, was all of 130 lbs. in his good years and below 100 when he was failing. He was a farmer and then a farm machinery mechanic and worked on everything from ‘soup to nuts’ in that category. I can remember so many of his ‘daddy-isms’ and each one makes me smile. Soup to nuts was one of them.
My little sister, Wendy, doing the 'Daddy squat' and my daughter, Bridgette
on her Grandpa Sunflower's lap
When I was a teenager living in Lucan I remember when he ecame ill and started to slow down and stop working a regular job. For a small man, he worked a lot and hard and when he became sick with emphysema he still managed to work on small engines in our back yard. He was always asking us to hand him this 'thingamajig' or that 'whatchamacallit'. Daddy was the best squatter in the world and was either propped on the sidewalk fixing a lawn mower for a friend, a chainsaw for a neighbor or he was inside the house in one of many chairs up on his haunches cleaning his nails with a jack knife. We always teased him with the small space he took up.

In his later years, in Zurich and then Vanastra, he had a favourite recliner that we could find him on when we visited. By that time he was receiving oxygen full-time with many feet of tubing at his feet so he could make it down the hall to the  bathroom. He was generally happy, even at that time of ill health and  a steady batch of shingles. He would have his cb radio at his side and friends from all over the world at his beck and call. “Breaker 1-9, this is Sunflower from Ontario, Canada, come in” . And they usually 'came in' for a lovely little chit chat with Daddy.                                                                    
a field of my favourite flower....for obvious reasons.
In June of ’95 he passed peacefully overnight and few of us were lucky enough to have seen him within his last 48 hours. I’d never seen a loved one looking so frail and when I think back, I’m not surprised he was on his way to heaven. Blessings come in disguise, sometimes. He was not comfortable in his every day existence any more.

Today, my mom is 90 and had an absolutely wonderful birthday party

Mom in her prime

Always a clown!
at the end of April. We saluted her great spirit by calling her party "Hats off to Marj" and wore hats in her honour. 
With a diagnosis of dementia since 2012, Mom is slowing fading each year. She lives in a great home with her own apartment and daily meals prepared for her in the dining room. 

Mom and her remaining children
Dining room lunch
My sister lives in her town and has been one of those blessings I mentioned since 2010 when we moved Mom into The Village.
Family group from 1984ish
Mom is having some issues now that has set all of us back on our heels and we know she has a fight ahead of her.  I want to yell “She’s 90 for crying out loud! Leave her alone!” but no, even Mom, who has come so far in this life, devoted all her time to 8 children and 2 wonderful men is not immune.
Moving Mom from her house in Vanastra

Gathering to clean the sold house
So, with surgery near the end of July, the family prepares. We all know the risks because of her age but at the same time know that Mom is a fighter and is in generally good health. At least 6 out of 7 remaining siblings will be by her side before during and after the procedure. 

I couldn’t be more thankful that Bill and I chose to move to this area so I am only 20 minutes away and can visit her as often as I like and as much as I need to, to help my sisters with appointments and such.
I didn’t want this to be a sad post, instead just sharing a period of my life that is inevitable for a lot of us.

Strength: (def) the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.

Thank you for reading and whispering a prayer for Mom.


  1. We all need to look back and appreciate where we've come from so that we know where we'll be going.
    We'll keep your Mom in our prayers.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you guys. We aren't being unrealistic about all this either, trying to remain positive but if she will continue to be uncomfortable after surgery, her body will tell her it is time.

  2. It is sad to see them failing like this, my mother is going through the same thing right now. Dad passed away 20 years ago relatively quick.

    1. It is sad but the main thing is that they don't hang on for us. Mom is ready for whatever comes.