Thursday, July 22, 2010

Age old questions? And the grace that follows.

An old friend of mine I have known most of my life recently posted this VERY frustrated sentiment about life with their grandmother. (They share a home with them and care for them on a daily basis.)

"ENOUGH!! Really need all of my prayer warriors out in full force praying for me and my grandma. I have had it. I want a divorce from my grandmother. Just because she is 87 years old DOES NOT give her the right to be a hateful person. We are supposed to treat others as we want to be treated right? I can tell you I would NEVER EVER treat anybody anywhere close to the way she consistently treats me and my mother! Its truly heartbreaking :("

I often wondered; do we become more of what we were as we get older or less? Meaning does a grumpy, mean person become meaner and grumpier? However, if this were true, wouldn't happy people be annoyingly joyful as they approach 90? Age certainly hits everyone differently! I know my friend is not alone in their above expressions of exhaustion and frustration! So much harder for folks when they live under the same roof!

Coincidentally, I had another friend recently who was facing a few similar challenges with their father who is only now just approaching 80. We agreed in our discussions together how hard it is to imagine, when most of us are only half his age, what toll, both mentally and emotionally (not to mention physically) the years will place on each of us? 

The point my friend and I came to, is the fact there comes a time when folks who are up this far in their years, have to be taken less directly or less personally if you will. They are not really processing the relationships and the moments quite the same way as those of us who are half as old.

I think life, our minds, and our attitudes, often become quite an overwhelming challenge at this advanced point in our lives.  Perhaps aspects of life (and the loved one's around them) are perceived so completely differently, it seems foreign or even abusive to the loved ones who are witnessing these changes first hand.

This acceptance by no means changes how unfair it all feels and perhaps is; Just possibly gives us an ability to make an excuse or two on their behalf, when they don't even know to ask for one. The hardest thing to prepare for, is the inevitable fact that these neglectful moments will not likely become less common but rather more. This is why my friend and I were trying to find a way to reason through it a bit, and perhaps lesson the pain through more understanding and forgiveness.  I hope my friend and others can find a way to be at peace with the frustration of their loved ones aging and even angry or abusive tendencies. 

I know it is painful. Just know this is not the same person (mentally) dishing this out on you, which was your loved-one of 10 or 20 years ago.  We all know how much time changes us all... However, the mental changes are some of the very hardest to cope with! And perhaps the hardest to forgive or even recognize.


No comments: