Even though I have spent the last 20 years in SW Florida interacting with my own patients, mostly older men and women, counseling them about the best and safest course of action when disease or illness has been interjected into their life, it is quite different when you are advising your own parent. Apparently, it is also different when advice come from your own children. So, currently my mother is stubbornly adhering to some autonomous choices, that in our opinion are laden with potential risks. We warn, caution, and threaten in much the same way a parent speaks to their teenage children about poor choices, and still, my mother resists.
As, I try to process the array of emotions and thoughts this week has ushered in, I am now also contemplating how to possibly honor my mother's life journey, set healthy boundaries, and keep her out of harm's way. I have been surprised this week how many friends and even strangers on the plane have been so ready to share their own stories about caring for their parents, and I realize how much this process is a part of our shared humanity.
I am a little scared about what the coming weeks and months have in store for my mom and for us as a family, but, my own decisions will be guided by a faith I have in the universe to guide and support us all to right action. This morning, while going through some boxes in my mother's basement, I came upon a book, I read many years ago: Love is Letting Go of Fear. I have already earmarked one of the pages, which states: Other people do not have to change for us to experience peace of mind. I can already see that 2012 is going to bring some new lessons into my life.