Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting older

No, not me. My parents, and my husband's parents.

Jeremy's dad called last night. I am not sure exactly what went on during their conversation, but during dinner, he told me, "I'm really worried about my dad," and didn't say much else. I could see the sadness and worry on his face. And usually my husband is such an even-keel kind of guy, so for him to be concerned, was really unsettling. I am usually the one pointing out health concerns and being accused of being a hypochondriac at times; he is the one who generally sweeps things under the rug, or at least minimizes them.

Back in October, his dad went to the hospital via ambulance after suffering what we believed at first was a stroke. His speech all of a sudden got slurred and he couldn't talk to his wife. Once at the hospital, it was determined that his blood sugar was dangerously high, and the slurred speech was due to that. I have to say though, relieved as I was, it was heart-wrenching to get a phone call from my husband, my protector, the one who is always strong, hearing him crying and afraid on the other end of the line.

While Jeremy wasn't quite to the same point last night, I could feel the fear and worry oozing out of him again, like it did that day in October. I think he is realizing in a very real way that his dad is getting older. Which then, of course, got me thinking of the day one of us has to comfort the other through a parent's death. (Sorry for the morbidity of this blog.)

I have never dealt well with death and grieving and loss. Its just not something I'm good at. Will I be able to be the stronger spouse when he needs me to be? We got through the sudden, untimely death of his cousin, but I think it must be different when its a parent. No matter how old you are, in your mind, your parents will always be there, because they always have been. To function without them from a certain point on...how does one do that?

And I think of my own parents too. Fortunately, my parents are still very active and overall in good health, but even they are beginning to show signs that they won't be around forever. A year ago, my dad had to purchase a hearing aid. And my mom has been fighting an uphill battle with cancerous skin cells for years.

I think aging is tough on everyone. Honestly, as much as I want to be around to watch my kids and grandkids grow up, I hope the rapture happens before then because I just don't want to deal with all the unpleasantries of getting older, or seeing the worry and burden it puts on my husband and kids. I don't want to gain or lose rapid amounts of weight, or live at the doctor's office. I don't want my bones to get brittle or have to buy Depends. I just don't want to deal with all the health scares and hospital stays and all that. I know the day will (most likely) come, but I dread it. I really do. And I don't want to have to watch my kids go through the same worry Jeremy is currently going through. Or watch their spouses sit by, not knowing how to help them through it.

I know aging, and eventually dying, is all part of the process, and is just the beginning to life eternal, but it really hurts. And I am tired of watching my husband hurt and not knowing what to do. I'm a doer, I'm a fixer, and I don't know what to do or how to fix my husband's heavy heart. And the worst part is, I know for both of us, its only going to get worse before it gets better.

No comments: