(A powerful blog for those with parents who have not yet planned ahead)
An elderly mother says to her son, “Promise me you will never put me in a nursing home. It’s so depressing. Promise me you will never do that.”
The middle-aged son says:
Promise me that you will make plans now, so I won’t have to later under duress.
Promise me that we will discuss this now, instead of at a time when it is either too late, or I will have to make excruciating decisions in a crisis mode.
Promise me that you will give this much thought.
Promise me that you will love us both enough to do this now, so I know YOUR wishes and they can be fulfilled as closely as possible. Research assisted living facilities. Research home health organizations. Have a plan in place we can both use.
Share your plan WITH me.
Promise me all of these things, so I can live the remainder of my life, knowing I honored you the best way that I could, knowing we had full and open communications, knowing we talked about the “what if’s.”
And lastly, promise me that you will never ask me again to promise you what you just asked of me. For without any direction or guidance from you, I will be guessing, and guessing is not what you want me to do with your life hanging in the balance. I don’t want to guess either, wondering if I’ve made the right decisions.
Guessing will only lay guilt at my feet and weigh heavily upon my shoulders.
If/when a crisis occurs, I will not be thinking straight. I will not be myself. I will not fully understand the ramifications of my decisions. I will be stunned and emotional. I will look and act like a zombie going through the motions. I will be confused and overwhelmed by medical staff saying things I don’t understand, and family members questioning my every move. Promise me you won’t do that to me.
By thinking about this now and deciding on what YOU want, we can put a plan together so there is no guessing. Saying “I love you” isn’t enough sometimes. Doing all of these things and preparing for that day ahead of time is a gift of pure love.
I will cherish and honor you for this gift, both now, as well as in my future. Thank you for protecting my soul, mom, dad. Thank you for loving me that much!
©2014 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.
No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent. Email her at Julie@TheEstateLady.com