I was called “noble” this week, and it wasn’t because I’m a member of the “noble profession.” It was because, my husband and I are moving back to Nashville, TN to care for our aging mothers. “Really?!” Was my response. It was an electronic communication, and I hope I didn’t seem rude and ungracious when she offered the compliment, but, I was taken aback, and shocked at being given praise for caring for my parents. Although, I totally understood where she was coming from, it just stuck me as very sad. Sad, because taking care of people who brought me into this world and sacrificed, for me, is considered noble.
Yes, children neglect their parents . . . a lot. Healthcare workers see it all the time. Especially those in nursing homes, and Elder Care attorneys see it a lot, too. Elder abuse is rampant these days, and many of the perpetrators are family. It happens. I’ve witnessed it as a healthcare worker, and as a law student and an attorney . . . but still . . . to get praise for caring for my parents just seems counterintuitive!
Why are we moving our entire family, and leaving a life we’ve built for more than 20 years in GA? Leaving all our children have ever known? Because it’s Mom! Some will get that without explanation. Some won’t. For some that don’t get it, it will be for lack of the warm fuzzies associated with mom. I get that, too. As a CASA and Guardian Ad Litem Intern, I saw how horrific some mothers treat their children. It’s not likely many of those children will do what my husband and I are doing. But still. I feel undeserving of praise for doing what I should do, for doing the right thing.
I know it’s the right thing to do because so many things are falling into place. A house is immediately available, both mothers needs have come to mini-crisis points simultaneously, I can stay home and care for everyone, and work on building the practice (web-based), and the most significant ---my husband and I agreed to make the move, in a single conversation, without debate! (Imagine that!)
Telling the children was horrible—at first—lots of tears and wailing!--- then, after they saw the benefits of being with Gran Gran, and Granma in the family holiday hub, seeing cousins, and aunts and uncles more often, and going to “public school,” they are fully on board. My oldest daughter will graduate from her father’s alma mater. They all think that’s pretty cool. And they know the grandmothers need help. They totally understood, because that’s what “we” do. We take care of family.
Although, when I tease about early Alzheimer’s setting in, and one of them will have to take care of me, the two oldest are the first to say, “Not it!” I’m certain, one of four will care for me. Almost certain . . . fairly certain. Surely, one of them will. Lord, help me!