A FOFriend recently learned that her octogenarian mother has breast cancer and will undergo a mastectomy. My friend intends to visit her mom every weekend during her recuperation. The trip will take about four hours each way. It’s what any wonderful daughter would do.
I often chat with my sisters and pals about what we’d want our adult children to do if we took ill. I always say I’d feel uncomfortable taking them away from their families, jobs and homes. Of course, I’d want to see them as often as possible, and hope they’d call every day for a few minutes, but I wouldn’t see the point of disrupting their lives on a continuous basis.
Some children leave their families and jobs to live with a sick parent. Others move their parents in with them, if they have the space. It’s never an easy decision for anyone, no matter how close they are. After my great grandmother had a stroke, her daughter (my grandmother) moved her into a nursing home close to where she lived. Grandma visited her mom every single day, and often returned with my grandfather after dinner. Grandma wouldn’t have had it any other way. Yet when she had a heart attack, her daughter (my mother) only spent two days with her.
I once had a cancer scare, which I didn’t tell my children about until after the surgery. Fortunately, everything was clean. My children were bothered that I kept quiet through the ordeal. They aren’t doctors, I told them, so I didn’t think they’d could do anything to help at that stage. Why worry them, too? Sitting by my side wasn’t an option, as far as I was concerned.