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Thursday, September 29, 2022
Home Blog FranklyStein My sister is the good daughter — FranklyStein

My sister is the good daughter — FranklyStein

gooddaughter1I never thought my sister would worry more about anyone than she worries about her kids, but then my parents started to decline.

My sister is a natural born caretaker. She doesn’t love the role, and she doesn’t always love the caretaking, but she can’t help herself. She cares intensely about the people she loves. And now she’s caring meticulously for our mom and dad.

My mom is suffering from sever dementia and my dad is in over his head, though he would never admit it. The toll the situation is taking on him is evident in how drastically he has aged in the past few years. It’s heart breaking.

I tend to cope with this situation by putting it out of my mind. It’s easy to do because my life is so busy. I can barely manage the lives of my kids so I can’t fathom adding in my parents’ needs. I have them over for lunch once a week, but beyond that, I’m tapped out.

My sister, meanwhile, heads over to their retirement-home apartment regularly to check on them. She organizes Mom’s closet, gives her pedicures and tries to help them come up with ways to occupy their time. She worries about them all the time, and my dad’s loneliness and boredom weigh on her. She will interrupt her own busy day to stop in and visit with them, and they only have to ask once before she will agree to have dinner with them.

This past weekend, we drove them up to their summer home in Rhode Island. It gave me a chance to watch her with them first hand. She has the patience of a saint. She unpacked them both, showered my mom and went swimming with my dad even though she was cold. She’s always thinking of things she should be doing for them and feels guilty if she doesn’t.

Now they are on their own until we return for our vacations in a few weeks. There is someone helping them, but it’s not the same and my sister is worried.

She is definitely the good daughter, and they are so lucky to have her.

Check out another blog on dealing with my mom’s dementia.

To read more FranklyStein click here

BreakFAmFranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 13, Adam, 13, and Jonah, 9.

 

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