Mom and Dad
(Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin)
My parents were inseparable thru my entire life. They did everything together, and in later years, got sick together. When one got a cold, the other did. When one got heart problems, the other did, days apart. Later in life, my mom had Alzheimer's, my dad had another type of dementia. It got hard, toileting, diapers, feeding, transfering, tucking them in bed, dealing with all their other health problems. They argued like kindergarteners, tattling on each other. I played the parent. But in my caring, all of our conversations were reliving life from their memories as children to memories of me as a child. It was beautiful, daily, minute to minute, nontstop. We lived in the past. I could not bear to send them to a nursing home, so I took care of them in their home for 4 years, the last 2 very intense, spending all my days at work while other family members cared for them, then all nights and weekends with my parents. When my mother died, my father told me every day he wanted to go be with her. I cared for my dad a mere 44 days when he passed away, gone to be with mom. I hadnt yet mourned mom's death. We talked of plans with mom and dad, of their funeral, burial, what to wear, they asked me how I would clean up their house and last business. They worried for me. It was such a long long good-bye, but I told them not to concern themselves or worry, that it all would go smoothly. But no one thought including myself about the loss I would endure losing both of them so closely. Every day I think of them and miss them with all my heart. I feel so alone like an orphan even though an adult.