Today I did something for myself. A colleague of mine who I worked with at the Chicago Park District and who is now the Director of Parks and Recreation in Denver had asked me quite a while back if I wanted to go to the Cubs/Rockies game today. I had it on my calendar for a few months now and never took it off.
This week when I got an email from her asking if I was still planning on going, I decided to go. It was so great to get out of the house and do something for myself – the day was perfect and the Cubs even won the ballgame.
Mom was very supportive when I told her that I was thinking about going. She encouraged me to go, saying that I had been through so much lately that I deserved to go. I was so grateful for her support. I remember when she was taking care of dad and I encouraged her not to go see him 7 days a week – that she should take a couple of days for herself. I remember talking to her on the phone and the guilt she felt because she was actually looking forward to those days and feeling like she shouldn’t be feeling that way.
I think I felt a little that way too, but she, having gone through what I am going through, was very supportive and made me feel so much better about taking the time for myself. Anyway, it was a great day, I had a great time and it was so nice to do something like this.
Sometimes I wonder what it is going to be for folks 5-10 years down the road when the baby boomers are all in this boat and the next generartion of caregivers will be faced with similar situations. I do hope we get better at taking care of the older adults and that we figure out a better way to do it with with grace and decency for both the person who needs the care and the caregivers. There has got to be a better answer than what we do now. But, what it is, I do not know.