Updated: Jul 4, 2018
As family caregivers, we’ve all had the experience of recognizing when our roles with our parents have changed. Somewhere in betwixt and between, we become their parent and they become our child.
Thankfully during my journey as caregiver to my mom, she always had her wits about her. There were no serious issues with her mind; her ailments were more physical. Even though Mom would need care more than she wanted to admit and I did have to take on the role of parent at times, she had an amazing sense about her. She was still “Mom.”
One day, I dropped Mom off at our local pharmacy. Not wanting her to walk, I dropped her off directly in front and told her I would find a parking spot. It was my lucky day; I got a spot right across from the pharmacy store front. All she had to do was walk across the path and get into my car. However, that’s not what she did.
There was a minivan parked in front of the pharmacy which blocked her view of me. She thought it was me and she decided to climb on in and get in the back seat of this stranger’s minivan. She even went so far as to buckle up!
The female driver looked over her shoulder with an astonished look and said, “Can I help you ma’am?” Well, my mom thought this was the funniest thing ever. She could barely recant the story to me, as she got into my car because she was laughing so hard. I was dismayed and worried because I didn’t even have a minivan! Not mom however; she thought it was grand. Her take on it was that she was safe and fine so why not laugh about it afterward.
She gave me a piece of advice I’ll never forget, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at.” She retold this story to many, and they all enjoyed a laugh “on her” as she would say. This was a “Pearl of Wisdom” my mom left for me.
Over the years, I began to string together those “Pearls of Wisdom” and now I have a full, beautiful necklace to wear full of her sage and sometimes downright funny pieces of advice.
I went on to create a segment on my blog entitled, “Pearls of Wisdom.” If you have an elder that has something to say which will leave us youngins’ a little wiser, please visit my site at www.inspirecaregivers.com under the “Pearls of Wisdom” tab. Our elders have been there, done that and have lived their lives with grace.
For those emotions that are not-so-humorous, feel free to check out my award-winning book, “Joy-full Journaling for the Caregiver’s Spirit: A Transformational Workbook” also found at www.inspirecaregivers.com. And remember to laugh – even if it is at ourselves once-in-a-while.
By Ann E. Agueli