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Sunday, April 26, 2009

OUR PARENTS

The 50 something woman many times finds herself in the midst of taking care of aging parents while she might still be raising her children and/or helping with and loving on some grandchildren, and possibly even holding down a job, all at the same time. I can't identify with the grandchildren season at all yet, but I certainly can relate to the care of aging, and often, ailing parents.
Today, I visited the mother of one of my dear friends. This mom has Alzheimer's Disease. Did you know that 5.3 million people have been diagnosed with this disease in the United States, alone? But when the patient is your mother or father, this can be a very lonely place to be. Mrs. Land, my friend's mother was diagnosed with A.D. several years ago. At this time, she cannot speak and rarely knows her loved ones when they visit her. She cannot walk alone and is cared for 24/7 by a loving staff. This has been a lonely path for my friend, as she has often felt that she was the only one living in a situation as difficult as this.
Once again, we must remember that no matter our circumstances, we MUST make time for ourselves. Time for a power walk, time with friends, and time to BE STILL. When we allow ourselves time for just us, we will be stronger and better equipped to handle whatever the day might bring. If you know someone in your sphere of influence that is dealing with a similar experience as my friend, reach out and encourage them in some way.

Seize the moments to love your parents while you have them.
And recall the happy times if they have passed on.
Yes, remember the happy times...until you meet again on the other side.