I wouldn’t trade the past few years for anything. Too few of us are lucky enough to spend time with loved ones in failing health. I am one of the fortunate few.
Several years ago, my mother was to have surgery on her back … nothing serious, but she would be out of commission for a week or so. Though the operation was routine, the complication came via my father and his worsening dementia. At the time I was working a stop-gap job in Tallahassee, and my folks lived in Panama City – just 100 miles or so away. I took a week off to help around the house.
I never went back to Tallahassee.
I spent the next few years cooking, grocery getting, managing a truckload of prescriptions, fixing things around the house, looking after pop, and reassuring mom. Dementia is insidious for the stricken and (like any wasting disease) indescribably heartbreaking for everyone else.
However, there is a lot to be thankful for. We were able to care for dad at home until his last year. While protracted cases are not uncommon, mercifully, he went downhill rapidly and passed peacefully. After mourning, mom sold the house and is now in an apartment she loves. She’s active and even has a cruise with extended family planned for the fall. It is as happy an ending for that sad chapter as is possible.
Crikey … I’m a Noob
In my past life, I enjoyed gainful employment as a writer and a researcher. I had a talent for demystifying the complex. I could suss out critical success factors from markets that churned like Charybdis. I turned mud into crystal. I told stories.
In the years since I last exercised my superpowers, storytelling became something called content development. Being a caregiver for so many years has left my skill set rusty at best and mired in a technological tar pit at worst. I’ve kept up with social media – strictly as a consumer. I fossilized.
Q: What’s a forty-something person possessed of outdated abilities living in a smallish market and faced with limited prospects to do?
A: Embrace the curve.
To that end and through a series of fortunate events, I scored a job with a local company. I have been given several hats to wear, among them: marketing (huzzah!).
Ironically Appropriately, my employer and I face similar obstacles, not the least of which is playing catch up in an environment seemingly hell bent on increasing the gap between reach and grasp.
It seems an appropriate analogy.