As a geriatric care manager, I counsel family members about how to reconcile a parent’s need for care in light of age old familial resentment. The result is that bitterness overshadows the task of caregiving and the responsibility is taken on with mixed feelings. I recently read the experience of E. O’Neill as she went to be with her mother who, with Alzheimer’s disease, was in need of care. Her mother’s spouse and caregiver had been hospitalized with a broken hip. Not an uncommon scenario. The only difference was that Ms. O’Neill had not seen her mother in two and a half years. She will explain. I leave you with the last paragraph of what she has written and a link to the article:
I returned to California filled with what I wasn’t aware was missing. A deeper healing had taken place within me through this opportunity to be of service to my mother and Pete that gave me great relief and comfort. After feeling as though my favorite holiday had passed me by, forgiveness was the gift that ultimately came to me this past Christmas.