Transitions With Jean Blog

Let’s make a deal!

September 1, 2019

This week, my friend shared something frustrating that had happened to her.

Dawn lives an hour away from her parents and can’t get there as much as she would like, but she tries to talk to her folks often. Mom no longer drives and doesn’t get out as much as she used to, so her conversations are basically about the neighbors and Mom’s cat, Trixie.

Often, Dawn gets updates about the comings and goings across the street; stories about one neighbor who doesn’t keep up his yard very well and needs to wash his windows. Mom also keeps her posted about another neighbor, Marie, including everything going on with Marie’s health, Marie’s garden, even how Marie’s grandchildren are doing in school.

Dawn has listened to the status of Mom’s tomatoes since they were seeds, as well as hearing about Trixie’s latest exploits. She said Mom will talk ad nauseam about Trixie’s stomach disorders, in detail. Gross.

Still, Dawn is an engaged listener because this is what is going on in her mom’s life. She cares and wants to be there for her mom.

Yet, last week, a cousin called to ask Dawn why she hasn’t been up to the hospital to see her Dad. What? She called Mom and was told, “I didn’t want to bother you. Yes, Dad has been in the hospital for three days. He fell and had to go in an ambulance.”

“Mom didn’t want to bother me!” she told me, exasperated, “What is she thinking? I want to be bothered.”

It ended up that Dad was dehydrated. Now he is back home and doing alright. Whew.

Can you imagine the stress that Dawn’s mom was going through in those three days when they didn’t know what the problem was? Not only that, but it must have been difficult for her to get to the hospital to see Dad and to have to face the worry all on her own.

My friend is not alone. I have heard many versions of this story from readers and friends alike. Their parents don’t tell them important news because they don’t want them to worry or because they don’t want their child to take off work. “We don’t want to be a burden.”

Parents, we care about your everyday life and we also care about what is going on with your health. But one is a higher priority, and just in case you aren’t sure, it isn’t the cat’s antics.

Let’s make a deal. Bother us all you want, but can we agree that you will always bother us when it is a health or safety issue?

We want to be in the loop. We want to be your first call. We will be there for you. You aren’t a bother. You are our parents.

Meanwhile, Dawn is back to the routine of chats with her mom and is happy to report that the tomatoes are ripening and will soon be ready for picking.

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