May 12, 2016… that was the day things changed drastically for me personally and for my two elderly parents. I was in the kitchen talking to my mom and realized something was wrong as she kept trying to say something but couldn’t complete her thought. Next thing I knew she was having what we later learned was an epileptic seizure. 

My husband and I noticed a few years prior that she was having difficulties with her thought processes and under a lot of stress taking care of my now 95 year old father who has congestive heart failure. We moved in with them and tried to take some of the burden of his care off of her shoulders but she was stubborn and wouldn’t let me help a whole lot other than to try and keep the house clean. I offered to take over the bill paying, but again no. Three years later she had her first seizure and everything was now on me to deal with. 

I admit there are days I resent having to deal with all of this but then I always remember how they took care of me when I was little. They instilled in me a sense of duty and respect towards my elders which I hope I have passed on to my own two grown daughters.

My mom has had 3 other seizures since then. She has been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The hardest part of all this? Seeing her loose her memories and the person she was. She does not recognize her own home which she has lived in for the last 20 years. She does not recognize the man she has been married to for over 50 years, which really upsets my dad.She doesn’t even recognize me half the time and that hurts but I know it’s not her fault. I have to explain to my dad it’s the disease that has done this to her mind, along with the seizures. It kills him and me to see her so confused and many times scared. 

Reading the two articles all ready written on this, the statistics and stories passed on, breaks my heart. They are our Parents. They took care of us when we were small. We should return that care now that it is They who are like children once more. 

To answer the question of burden or boon: I think it is both.