Today, my Mother would have turned 100, unfortunately, she missed being a centenarian by just under 31 years! Born in 1915 in New Orléans, my Mother was a women before her time. Obtaining two college degree’s in the late 1930’s, she was talented and always seemed to be the “bell of the ball.” Yet she passed away in 1984, just before her 69th birthday with seemingly, many unfulfilled dreams.
While “Gramma Bell” got to know all of her 25 grandchildren, she missed out on getting to know all of her great-grandchildren which now reach past the number 40. She missed out seeing the success of her six children, four of which have lived longer than her. How medicine has changed over the years. But most of all later in life, she missed out on being happy, which is the saddest of them all.
I’m sure raising kids in the 40’s and 50’s was challenging, just as it is today. Yet it is important to note that she loved being a mother, but being a mother kept her from fulfilling some of her dreams. There are so many things in life we give up when we care for someone else, albeit a parent or a caregiver.
I’ve never been a parent, but I do know what it is like to be a Caregiver. I sense there is quite a bet of similar traits in these two roles, most notably the ability to love and care for someone else. Sure, I realize that some parents do not have the ability to love and care for their children, just as I realize that there are many Caregivers who are out there who do not love their Caree: I call those folks, “Caregivers By Default.” But when you get right down to it, we all have the innate ability to care, it just has to be nurtured. I’m thankful for that I received the care gene from my Mom, I am mindful that life moves on, and it is better to move on in happiness, than in worrying about the past.
Happy 100th birthday “Gramma Bell,” we are all just doing fine!
Chris MacLellan is a radio show host and Author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving”
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