Wait, Please…

I once could waltz around192ab708-48c6-4396-8e34-6160619f78fb the dance floor light as a feather for hours with a glowing smile on my face. My skin was smooth and my eyes sparkled with joy and enthusiasm. I was young and vital — once.

Years later, the morning sunshine awakens me but I don’t pop up out of bed full of energy. My joints are stiff and painful. It takes me a considerable amount of time to sit on the side of the bed. Please don’t be impatient with me, I’m moving as fast as I can.  Simple things like washing my face and brushing my hair make me short of breath as I struggle to raise my arms. Even feeding myself takes too much out of me some days.

If my clothes don’t match or I put them on inside-out, please don’t laugh at me. I’d appreciate your help. My eyesight is poor despite the bifocal glasses perched on my nose. It isn’t because I don’t care, I still want af9476b2-43b7-40cd-b1db-ff6eb8844909to look nice.  The days of throwing something on and looking great are over. Now, I struggle with buttons and zippers. I prefer velcro to shoelaces because my knuckles are swollen with arthritis.

If I don’t seem to be following the conversation, please remember to speak slowly and clearly.  Don’t yell at me just because I’m elderly it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m deaf.

Thank you for treating me with respect — like the adult I am and not like a child. I have lived for decades, and I have seen this world during times of peace and war. I’ve struggled with finances, raised children,de1fdc0d-9155-465b-b146-adf17914de9c and cuddled grandchildren. I’ve sacrificed and celebrated. I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve sat at the side of my parents’ hospital beds and held their hands in their last moments on this earth.

Now that I am facing my twilight years I don’t want to be forgotten while I am still alive.  Come to visit me. Take me out to lunch. Your presence means the world to me.

If you see me sitting alone, stop to chat a moment. And if I repeat myself, please understand and don’t remind me that my memory isn’t as good as it once was. Just a few minutes of feeling relevant in the eyes of another human will make my entire day.

I am tomorrow. I am lost youth. I will be you.

6 thoughts on “Wait, Please…”

  1. As it is now we find ourselves with one parent left, this really hits home for me. I do try to spend a lot of time with my dad and I’m aware of his limitations, even if I tend to think he is like Superman. I am trying to be as patient and understanding as possible, I drive him where he needs to go and I know he probably doesn’t want me to hover, but just be there when he needs me.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! It is really difficult making the transition from being the daughter to being a caretaker. Truly it is a labor of love. I think it is as frustrating for our parents who wish they could do the things they were able to do before and now can’t. What helps me is being able to talk to friends and siblings who understand the emotions associated with it and being able to voice it. You are doing a wonderful, loving thing for your dad.

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  2. loved the pics and tribute to us older ones an the trials of getting dressed. somedays I feel is it worth the trouble. but try to go to coffee when not having a worker. on nice days try to walk neighbors dog. when get to Ft D odge will spot and see my sister. A nice tribute to your parents.

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