I received a phone call the other day from my Mum who was nearing the end of her three week island hopping holiday through Greece. Initially I thought we must have had a bad line but it soon became apparent that my mum was extremely upset – she couldn’t cope with being away from home for so long and the fact that nothing was in her control. At that moment I knew exactly what to say and how to reassure her, it happened instinctively. After the phone call ended I thought about the times I have rung my mum crying – her voice and words would so easily calm me. I thought about the times you see a child fall over and the way they look to their parents for that security, whether it be in a smile or a cuddle. It made me think about how a parent feels when their child goes to Uni, or even more relevant to where this is going, how does a child feel if you have to put a parent into a nursing home? When does it hit you that role reversal has already happened? When did I gain the ability to calm my mum down the way she did so well when I was younger? More to the point how does it feel to get older and realise you are starting to rely more and more on your children?
I recently asked a question on Facebook “What is the worst thing about getting “old” or what you imagine will be?”, the answers really hit home, here’s some of them:
- No longer being able to speak to Mum and Dad (I still cry at this one)
- Peoples perception of you change due to a number
- Fear of change
- Not achieving your goals
- Becoming dependent on others
The one that was mentioned most was losing your mental and physical ability which for me is terrifying, my Grandma passed away after suffering from dementia for nearly 10 years, my Nana has recently under gone surgery after she broke her hip – it has consumed her, she rarely leaves the house. My Grandad is 90, he still drives but his knees ache and I sense a feeling of him being a little lost – I can’t imagine how different the world looks for him now!
” Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone”
” Enjoy your body use it every way you can ,don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own”
“Get to know your parents you never know when they’ll be gone”
Quindon Tarver – ” Wear sunscreen”
A truly excellent song that sums up where I am taking this.
Our bodies and our minds are the most individual and exceptional things we will ever have, together they make us who we are. Your body is designed to move and stretch (ahem) as well as your mind being there to learn and expand – Don’t ever take that for granted. As we grow older the physical movements might not be as big and our minds might not be as sharp but we learn to adapt, we give our knees a longer rest that have been holding us up for 60+ years, we focus more on keeping a healthy spine and back and we may have to occasionally take a step back, a deep breath and acknowledge just how much the world has changed; but this is all inevitable and we are all going to be in that same situation eventually, so love your body and use it however you can, when it gets tired give it a chance to rest. Keep stretching your mind but if things become over whelming don’t be afraid to ask for help – whether it be from your mum or your daughter.
Stay young at heart – Grace xxx