…elders in Massachusetts, the last 38 of those as the Executive Director of an Area Agency on Aging. He was also the primary caregiver for an aunt and uncle for the last two years of their life. He was for over twenty years, along with several of his siblings a caregiver for his own mother who died this past Fall, at age 97, in the house where she had lived since she was three years old. Lastly, he is now an elder himself.
I did that for my grandmother for the last six months of her life. She has raised my sister and I. She was one of our two parents. The other was--and still is--my mom.
Being the caregiver for my grandmother was one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done. She was 95 years old at the time.
She had dedicated her whole life to us. Taking care of her was the least I could do to show my appreciation for the love she offered. She deserved to live an ending that said "what I offered was valuable and it was appreciated". And of course, our "thank you" was present even before that. But she died in the hands of the three women she had raised, listening "thank you", "we were lucky to have lived next to you", "we will never forget you".
You have so many important points from the beginning of the story, but obviously, that last part was so moving for me.
And there's something I used to think and say when somebody asked me why we chose to take care of her (having jobs in parallel, but I was not a parent at that time)instead of hiring somebody. I answered: I believe we didn't want her to experience that awful feeling of "am I of no value now that I can't support the way I used to? Was I loved only then"?
Thank you, Mr. O'Neill.