I am not sure how long it took me to realize that although my children are now adults and living away from home; I am yet again in the position of being a mother again…this time to my parents. I suppose it is the circle of life, but it is a part of life that I believe the majority of us do not think about until the situation creeps up on us.
My parents retired at 65, keeping very active, even wondering whenever they had time to work! Volunteering time at the church, raising money for the doctor’s office they were registered at, cooking meals for neighbors, baking cakes for friends, and their appointment diary was full of coffee mornings and afternoon teas with friends.
They seemed forever young and when I told them that I would be immigrating to North Carolina, although there was a ‘niggle’ in the back of my mind, I did not worry about the distance and what it would mean for the future. They came to visit us in our new home, and proudly took photos of where we had moved to comparing it favorably to what we had left. I traveled back to England and celebrated with them their 50th wedding anniversary, and then again when my mother, who was adopted as a baby, met her birth siblings for the first time in over 70 years.
Mum and Dad traveled to North Carolina when we celebrated the graduation from High School of their grandson and again 3 years later when their granddaughter graduated from High School.
It did not even cross my mind that things were starting to change, but they were, quietly, with no apparent fan fare or instruction book, I became a parent again. This time sharing the responsibilities, not with my husband but with my brother, who let’s be honest was never the closest person to me in my life. We shared the concern when they went missing; having made the decision to drive in a snow storm, a journey that would, in normal circumstances take 40 minutes took over 7 hours…’no we did not have our cell phone with us, no we did not think to let anyone know where we were, yes we promise to keep our phone with us and charged in future!!!’ This was the first time that my brother and I shared a common goal; the care and safety of parents that were in need parenting!
In January 2013 Mum started saying how tired Dad was feeling, that he had lost weight and was looking pale. Anemia was diagnosed. Then after further tests, with me once again in England, this time not excitedly waiting for a celebration, rather nervously sitting next to them in a doctor’s office waiting for the results of the tests that would change everything, again, forever…