The View from the Porch Swing

Sit a spell, kick your shoes off...we'll chat about life and love and God and all the things that matter most.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Lunch with Aunt Peg

I took my elderly aunt out to lunch yesterday. We used to be very close after my dad died, but as the kids have gotten older and life has gotten busier and busier, I kind of drifted away. I've always felt guilty about it and always promised myself over and over to do better, but life always seemed to get in the way.

Yesterday she started talking to me about how great she has it and how she doesn't have to worry about anything. Her two sons (neither of whom live nearby) pay all her bills, take care of anything that comes up and all she has to do is ask if she wants money. I think she was trying to convince herself more than me how great her life is. Why? Because as we continued talking over lunch several things came out...

1. She is helping to work on a quilt for the historical society and dreads its completion because working on it helps fill her days.

2. She feels trapped in her house..."I'm just supposed to stay here till I die."

3. She is bored and has no purpose.

4. She misses her husband and brother (my dad) who have been gone 5 and 11 years. She wishes she'd die, too.

She's had a few small strokes over the last couple of years that most likely contribute to her mental state, but no matter the cause, when she lets her guard down, she's unhappy. It got me thinking. My cousins are doing all the "right" things and I'm sure they believe they're taking good care of their mom. It's just funny how doing the right thing can be the wrong thing. They're killing her spirit with kindness. My aunt was a strong woman her whole life, very detail oriented....a micro manager. They've taken away part of the core of who she is.

I can't change any of that, but I'm going to find the time to do things with her somehow. I can at least be a diversion and provide something to fill her days.


At September 1, 2004 at 2:25 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Hi Stacy,

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be praying for your Aunt and that the Lord opens the doors of opportunity for you to be able to minister to her and lift her spirits.

Blessings my friend,


At September 1, 2004 at 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad. I just dread getting old like that. I don't spend near enough time with the elderly. I know that but I'd rather spend my time with children. I really need to get more of a burden for the aged. I do hope you find the tiem to spend with her. She sounds like a dear lady! Tammy from Dishpan Dribble

At September 2, 2004 at 11:21 AM, Blogger Stacy said...

Paul, Tammy: Thanks for the prayers and encouragement. It's that drive to micro manage every detail in everyone's lives that keeps most of the family away. My aunt has a heart of gold, she's just difficult to take. I've always had more patience with her than anyone else so I really do need to do better.


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