11 Comments

Happy 60th Anniversary Mom and Dad

60anniversaryI struggle with those events that honor or mark an occasion when I know my parent’s don’t or won’t remember. I’m admitting this hoping I am not the only one that has battled this head game. I manage so many small details of my parent’s lives some days that the slight effort and scheduling to acknowledge the event feels overwhelming.

Then I remember that if my parents could, they would have celebrated this date.

I call to let my Mom know I am coming for a visit. She admits she is still in bed — it’s 10 a.m. I let her know I will be there in an hour. When I arrive my Dad answers the door. I wish him Happy Anniversary, and ask about Mom. She is still in bed, but dressed. She quickly gets up and joins us in the living room. I give my parents a fruit basket and “Happy Anniversary” Balloon on behalf of all their children.

When we talk about going down to get lunch, my Mom begs off. She says she is too dizzy to walk down to lunch. She is talking clearly so I assume she is just not eating enough. We bring her back food and she promises to eat it later.

After lunch we have a nice chat about how many couples make it to their 60th wedding anniversary. My Mom shares how lucky she feels they have been, which is now a staple of her conversation every time I visit. In the midst of the conversation, my Mom states “You need to move me to a smaller apartment after one of us dies. ”

Just six months ago, the idea of moving them from Independent Living to Assisted Living was a major concern for me and my siblings. They have easily adapted to their new place that is less than 400 square feet. Now my Mom is already planning on moving to a smaller place.

I’m glad I made sure my parents could celebrate this day together. Rewarded.

11 comments on “Happy 60th Anniversary Mom and Dad

  1. I soooo struggle with this same concept. My mom has no idea when her birthday or wedding anniversary are but my Stepdad does. And it’s hard to know how to handle these occasions. We had to move my mom into a facility just three days before their 27 year anniversary this year. That was rough. I’m glad your parents are doing so well with the move. That is excellent.

    • Thank you for the note. I’m still trying to figure out who the celebrations are for … me or my parents. Somedays I feel it’s a blessing they are in this boat together and some days the boat feels like it’s sinking fast. How is your mom doing?

  2. I also struggled with this with my mom, especially with hers and Daddy’s anniversary, Father’s Day, and his birthday. After all her symptoms hit hard and furious, I just acknowledged it to myself. Last year she was in the ER with a gallbladder infection on her birthday and even though my twin sister and I spent ours with her, I’m not sure she knew exactly what we were commemorating.

    You know, the thing I had to realize is that it’s not painful for them, just for us, and part of what we begin missing before they’re even gone is the people they were before all this.

    Congratulations on your parents’ 60th anniversary!

    • Thank you for your note. It’s very true. I’m still trying to understand, accept, manage, love. The battles to get them transitioned to and in the right place are over, and now we battle our memories and want to fight the loss we witness … which comes in fits and starts. It is a momentous occasion and I’m glad I invested the extra time and energy to celebrate it with them.

  3. You are a fabulous daughter and honor your parents well.

    e.

  4. Hi,

    I am the individual from Baltimore with parents in Seattle. After 31/2 nightmare months – I have moved my mother to an Adult Residential Home and as of tomorrow my father will be moved to a nursing home (locked dementia ward). What is sad is that my parents 60th anniversary is August 8th and they will never see each other again. This experience has been worse than taking care of my dying husband who passed away 9 years ago (I am re-married and have two great sons) but this situation and the termination of their existence (wanting to be in their own home, but not competent enough to take care of themselves was devasting to me, as I am sure as it has been to them.
    Such is life – it sucks sometimes!

    Vickie

  5. Just days before my parents’ 40th anniversary, the hospital where Dad was in ICU called. They couldn’t reach my mom and my dad was crashing, was there a DNR on file? No there wasn’t and if it had been up to me there would have been and I probably would have let him pass right then. But my mom was already on her way to see Dad, to spend their 40th anniversary together, even if it was in the hospital. And as the spouse, it was ultimately her decision so I finally got a hold of her and the hospital kept Dad alive. On their anniversary, Mom brought along a card and read the message aloud in the hospital room, though Dad was under conscious sedation. She ended up having the card cremated with him. The hospital staff brought her a piece of cake when they learned it was their anniversary, which was a nice gesture.

    Congrats on your parents’ 60th anniversary. That is quite a milestone!

  6. […] she says she is doing fine. I ask her how she’s walking today — on my last visit she refused to join us for lunch because she felt too unsteady on her feet. She tells me her foot still bothers her a little, but taking off her shoe helps.  She […]

  7. […] Mom just turned 83. I realize that I have looked forward to celebrating birthdays and anniversaries with my parents. It makes things feel more normal than they are. I am not visiting to make sure […]

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