It's hard to watch your parents age. I recently found a photograph of my parents from about 11 years ago. My mom looks trim and her hair is solid black. My dad is smiling, and he has my daughter on his shoulders.
My dad is living with Lupus. Every day is a battle. His kidney's don't work efficiently so his hands and feet get enormously swollen. His face and tongue have areas of numbness. He has to drink with a straw, and he won't eat in front of other people. He recently went to his 40th year reunion and he was too embarrassed to have dinner at the restaurant with everyone else. He waited and ate alone in his hotel room after the event. It makes me sad to know he's self conscious. It's hard to know he's in physical pain a lot.
My dad is a good man. He's a hard working man. Even with all of his health problems he works at our business six days a week to help ensure a good future for the kids and I. He is acutely aware that one day I'll take over the business and that my ability to take care of my children is all wrapped up in the success of our business.
My mother is also struggling with severe health problems of her own. This past weekend while my dad was at his reunion, BLT pitched in to watch all the kids so that I could stay out at my parents house with my mother. She's had total knee reconstructions, a titanium rod and pins inserted in her spine, a blood clot in her lungs at one point, she's had more surgeries than anyone I know. And now it appears as though she's got a herniated disc in her back and she can barely walk around with the aid of two canes. She needs someone to help with the laundry, the cleaning, and to cook for her. Not to mention they have two dogs that need care if my dad isn't around.
It's weird to me to think that in just over a decade my parents went from active, vivacious people who enjoyed RVing and camping to... well... old people.
It scares me to think they they won't always be here. I don't know what I would do without them. I need them. My kids need them.