“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
or perhaps it’s more appropriate to go with the way I first learned it:
“Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
This is going to be a very personal post — and I may delete it once I’ve written it so may never be seen.
I am a Christian, and I regard the 10 Commandments, which you’ll recognize include the the above verse (Exodus 20:12), as some of the most important verses of the Bible. I am not a literalist, and I have long said that the 10 Commandments are not a roadmap to heaven, but are a response to grace.
Nevertheless, even as a response to grace, and not an unalterable mandate of behavior, they are to be taken seriously and as something more than a “suggestion.”
So, here I am at a stage in my life when my Mother is nearing the end of her life (my Father died 33 years ago), and I’m struggling with what to think, and how to respond.
She is currently living at an assisted living facility that has provided adequate care for the last couple of years. But her condition has reached the limits of the center’s capabilities. She doesn’t have long to live, but clearly needs to be cared for and comfortable during that time. The facility is willing to work with us to an extent, but hurdles remain.
But resources are stretched to the breaking point, and therein lies part of the problem.
I should say that my mother’s relationship with both my brother and me has been rocky most of our lives. He has his issues, some different from and some similar to mine. And it’s important to note that she made little or no preparation for this stage of her life, even when there were opportunities to do so. As a result, it’s fair to say that I am somewhat resentful that we are where we are. At the same time, I recognize that her expectations of what would happen are probably not dissimilar from what was expected of her by her own mother.
But here we are: faced with honoring/caring for our mother in her last days, with conflicted feelings, and to be brutally honest, at least from my standpoint — I won’t speak for him, more from a sense of obligation than love, although that’s not totally absent.
I’m sure our situation is not unique.
I’m not sure where we’ll go from here; I’m not sure where we’re able to go from here. I worry about her, I worry about my own family. I worry. (I know all the bromides and Bible verses about “worrying,” but nevertheless, I worry.)
I’m not really sure why I decided to write this, except that it sometimes helps my thought process to write it out.