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Helping Aging Parents from Afar

She went shopping with me and stood beside me when I cooked for them. She taught my dad to do laundry. She did all that she could do. She learned to sew again and made beautiful things. After about 2 years, my husband and I moved 3 hours away from them. At that point the lady I hired earlier to work for them got another job and moved on. So, on most Saturday mornings I arose at 4:00 A.M., drove the 3 hours to get there, and immediately went to work when I arrived. My mother made the shopping list while I vacuumed and dusted the house. Fortunately, they kept the kitchen clean and in order. I mopped the tile floors. Then we would go shopping and buy what was needed for the meals the following week. I would cook when we got home–put things in freezer containers and tag them all with contents. We always had a nice visit while things were happening.

At about 5:00 or 6:00 P.M., I would get in my car and drive the 3 hour trip home. When we shopped, I would do some shopping for myself so that I wouldn’t have to shop on Sunday. My Sundays were for church, rest, and preparing for my next week of school–laundry, cleaning my own house, and such. Sometimes my husband traveled with me, but most of the time he had to work or do other things for us at home.

In time I put my parents on Meals-on-Wheels to help get them through the weekdays. I still needed to prepare food for them for weekends and nights. After my mother’s death, I did the same thing for my dad for 7 more years. I remembered the sacrifices my parents did for me for so long. This was the least I could do for them. As I aged and my parents’ aged this part of life can be expected. I made up my mind to help my parents when they most needed me. It was a given.

My precious mother had a massive stroke that forced her to need help in many areas. Her rehab was successful in that she could walk again (not fast), speak correctly, and do menial things around the house. Her mind was sharp and quick as always. I lived about 15 minutes away from them at first and could go and clean house, cook, shop, or whatever needed done without getting out of my comfort zone.

My book, For Better For Worse, talks about this period in my life.

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©2016 by Morgan Paige Agency and author content by Elaine Norman