I so much liked your editorial about your mom…this is what we are dealing with as well

It’s a “my 3 sons” kinda Friday…boy, oh boy, could we use a sister right about now!!…so many of you have traveled this road with aging parents but it is all new and uncharted for my brothers and I…guys have their place in the family dynamic but being full time caretakers is usually not a male strength…that is why Mother’s Day is a much bigger deal than Father’s day…Mom only wanted boys; no stringy headed girls for her!!…she got her wish (although more by fate and than her determination) and it has worked well until we got to this situation…men are good at taking flowers on birthdays, sending a card or paying a few bills…but who really gets down to the nitty gritty of daily care?…those types of chores are unseen to the male eye and it is taken for granted that some magic fairy shows up and does the laundry, trims the toe nails, changes the sheets and so on…

I have shared with you that youngest son Michael has accepted the heroic task of being Dad’s guardian angel; Dad lives 24/7 with Michael…Michael has the 100% support and backing of his two brothers; we both readily admit that we are incapable of doing what he is doing…but, wait a second — if it were my house I know who would be doing much of the “unseen” and “unsung” daily necessities…it would be my unnamed spouse…same is true in Michael’s case!…

I still stand in awe of what Michael did for Mom in her last days and I stand with jaw dropping admiration for what he has done for Dad…but the raw truth is that guys can only do what guys do; we are genetically deficient when it comes to the real deal of one on one daily care…okay, maybe some guys are better than others but those are the same guys who have the lead role in the community production of West Side Story!!…after six months of daily in-home care, way too much of the burden has been shouldered by a spouse; and we three guys have let her do all she is willing to do (there’s a shocker, hey ladies?)…

Dad is failing at a noticeable pace…his care is taking its toll on those who live with him…Peggy (the go-to spouse) is dancing as fast as she can but it is exhausting and it is robbing her of her own daily needs…her spirit is willing and she is not wanting to relent but I fear we are approaching a new day in Dad’s care…my new friend Roger is facing much of the same with his father; we are not alone in our bewilderment but we are still trying to find our way through the end of life maze…all three sons love their Dad; all three sons want what is best for Dad even though the opinions on what that is may vary…there is no doubt that Peggy loves her “Dad” too…but at some point we have to protect her well being and the well being of HER household; sadly, Dad will continue to deteriorate and it is pointless for others to be sacrificed in the process…

I wish we three sons could simply say “Thanks a million, Peggy, job well done but we’ll take it from here”…trouble is, we don’t know what “take it from here” means…we are just now beginning the process…so for now we can sincerely say “Peggy, you’re the best”…and under our breath we are whispering, “boy, oh boy, could we use a sister right about now!“…the ducks on the pond work things out in their own “sisterhood” way…and Mother Parker reminds me that guys are great at drinking the coffee the gals have made.

The Kelster