Life Is About Choices, Pt. II

Life is about Choices, Pt. II

  Picking my words carefully as I lament the passing of time.

I am fifty-seven years old and my parents are in their mid-80’s.  It all began here, with my favorite post,  We Chose You. 

During the last fifteen years, I have observed changes in my parents and have occasionally made attempts to influence them to make “appropriate” changes.

Changes that I thought to be appropriate.


From 2006


For the most part, they politely (and rightfully so) ignored my advice.

Now, as their situation becomes more precarious, my two sisters and I  have many decisions to make.  Do we wrestle control of our parent’s lives and force them into an existence they do not want, nor yet believe they need? Do we reverse the roles and become the stern parents, uttering the phrase, “Because I said so?” Do we want to risk the very real possibility of alienating them during the last chapter of their lives?

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, some real disasters if the truth be told. Whenever I did though, they accepted me for where I was at that time. The consequences and reprimands were always buffered with unconditional love.

Pondering the next steps, I am inclined to let nature take it’s course, knowing that there will probably be some pain and the usual second-guessing about serious decisions. I hope that my decision is not selfish as I live twelve hours away and can’t be there as much as I would like to be.

I have decided to continue to be the loving, supportive and usually obedient son, as opposed to the one who wants to take what they consider their dignity, away from them. I hope my sisters agree with the philosophy.

Holding my breath and praying this is the best approach, I will be there to help pick up the pieces, should they fall down and things get all undone.

Only time will tell.

It should not come as a surprise that this challenge reminds me of a song.

The lyrics:

There’s a woman with a baby sitting next to me
As we ride the crooked train into New York City
She holds that child on her bended knee
Whispers something that only he could hear
She says I will always love you no matter what may come
I carried you inside myself the two of us are one
No matter how you fall down or how it comes undone
To me you will always be shining

And he stares into her brown eyes
Into the face of unconditional love

I see a man laying in the street
Left his motorcycle at a high rate of speed
In his eyes there’s a vacancy
But he seems, he seems to be smiling
Oh maybe he was a Muslim a Christian or a Jew
I hope that he was laughing when off that bike he flew
Maybe he struggled to believe just like me and you
As the ambulance is too late arriving

And he stares at the sky above
Into the face of unconditional love
Sometimes I’m impossible sometimes a rage arose.
Sometimes all the dreams are spent, strewn across the floor
And I see myself reflected in your eyes
All the tragedy, the hope and the fear
So in my hour of dying when the light is clear and clean
If it helps read from the bible don’t hook me up to those machines
Just stay by my side as I slide
Into some peace
Give me strength over what I’m afraid of

In the face of unconditional love
Unconditional Love

About Ray V.

Living between Aiken & Charleston,, South Carolina, USA, I like to share what I am looking at, thinking about or listening to. I refer to this as the view out my window. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Changes, Consequences, History, Marriage, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Life Is About Choices, Pt. II

  1. I would do likewise Ray. You have to step back from interfering (as they may see it) and just make sure you’re there to give all the support needed, when it is needed. Difficult when you are 12 hours away I know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. josiesvoice says:

    You did the right thing. Your parents will let you know when they’re ready to take the next life step whether on their own decision or when their physical body tells them, it’s time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. misifusa says:

    Ray, the only unsolicited advice I can give you is this: Stepping back requires that you continue to keep in touch and watch as they are now older. I am sure you are on top of it all, but from my own previous varied experiences, I will ask that you make sure that all papers are in order. As a lawyer’s daughter, I learned the hard way and would hope to save someone else the heartache, hence my advice. I am glad that they are doing well and that you have your sisters to help you. It’s not easy letting go or not interfering. I get it. I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Being so far away from your elderly parents means you will notice the deterioration in their advancing years more than those they see each day. You made the right decision Ray, interference is never forgotten however well meant and rarely forgiven. When my mother’s age and ill health finally got the better of her we offered her a home with us and she gratefully accepted the offer. The decision was entirely her own, but she missed her home, the friends she had nearby and the little independence she had. She died four months later, but if we had known how little time she actually had left, I think it may have been kinder to have left her where she was.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Osyth says:

    The best advice I ever received as a parent came when my eldest daughter was about 18 months from a father with two ‘natural’ children and an adopted daughter. He said ‘go with it’. I have. And now, like you, I am faced with an aging parent (my daddy died 14 years ago) and I think that I have to adopt the same attitude. Go with it, friend. I think that is all we can do – resistance makes waves, ignoring is not an option and if we ride the wave with them then we will find the answers delivered. Bon courage a toi.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Claudia says:

    It’s a precarious ledge us oldies stand upon. I’m only 64, but I think of myself 20 years hence. Will I be senile? Will I care? Will I remember? My parents have been gone a long time, so I have no point of reference. But I hope you do a mixture of all — a little patience, a little guidance. Know that in their minds they are perfectly sane and capable. Even if they are not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LittleFears says:

    We’ve had to make similar choices with the missus mum and dad this last year. We’ve decided, no matter how awful it sounds, to let things go on until disaster befalls them and they are forced to make choices or allow nature to take its course. Sometimes it’s the best and only thing we can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Christy B says:

    Hi Ray, now I see why you steered me toward this post after reading the one on my blog about aging parents. It’s a tough time when our parents start to look more frail.. while it’s the circle of life it’s still heartbreaking. Sending kind thoughts to you and family xx


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