Tom & I are in the midst of our last day in Sydney. Tonight we will have dinner with Matt Stone and some of his cronies. Then tomorrow last trip up to the local shops for a cappuccino or mocha with Mum – hate to admit it but cappuccinos here are much better than in the States.
The hardest thing is leaving my Mum who is now 86. One of the challenges that we do not deal with well in the church is the growing elderly population and the pressures it places on sons and daughters and often grandchildren as well. Mum is in great health and I have three wonderful brothers in Australia who are looking after my mother well but it is still a struggle to be so far away. And I find that all my friends in their 40s and 50s are dealing with these issues. One of the growing challenges in our highly mobile society is that families are often spread out over the world and elderly parents and grandparents can be conveniently shuttled off to a nursing home.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how to care for elderly family members in a compassionate and caring way while still carrying on our busy lives. Of course one of the solutions is probably to slow down our lives and recognize that looking after elderly parents is part of the pattern and rhythms of our lives that we need to accept and in fact to embrace.
I have loved listening to my mother’s stories this week of her childhood adventures. The world has changed so much in the last 100 years that all of us need these connections to our past to strengthen and root us. It is not only our Christian heritage we need to get in touch with. It is our family histories too.
What do you think? Those of you who have elderly parents how do you handle this challenge