I am lucky to still have both of my parents alive and well. I am so grateful for this. But on the same page, having parents who are aging is a special kind of difficulty. Reconciling the facts and truths of their changing abilities and the growing, I don't know, struggles? It's hard.
I'm someone who didn't grow up with relatives around, so I didn't have grandparents, so I don't have a lot of experience with older folks, and I have no real "oh I remember when my Grandpa/Aunt/Whoever got old and...." times to have learned from.
The only older people I spent any time with was when I was in pre-school (so younger than 5) and my Mom volunteered at the stroke society and there were "old" people (I have no actual idea how old they were) with diminished abilities (due to the stroke) and I would spend time with them. But they were that way when I met them, so even then, other than with the one man, Ken, that I knew the most, I never saw deterioration. (With Ken, he carved me little figures, and when he had a second stroke, the detail in his carvings was lost, even as I child I could see this change.)
I don't quite know how to handle the slips I notice my parents making. Pre-pandemic, a few years back I talked with them a bit about things and my Dad specifically asked that I not point out when he had forgotten something I'd told him. He asked me just to tell him again, not to "get frustrated and say UGH I TOLD you already!!!" So I try. But there's also that kid/teen/child inside me that remembers my young Mom and Dad. Possibly when they were around the age I am now. And, no, I don't want them to change. Not at all. And of course I'm aware they will die. I'd rather they wouldn't but I don't seem to have a fix for that... but sometimes this aging thing is hard to navigate. Most especially during this pandemic time when nothing is in person. And I'm so not wanting to hurt any feelings. And we're all human, and communication by text is terrible. Phone, email and FaceTime are only so good. I hate to say it out loud but I see them aging. And I hate it.
Life is so imperfect, and some of the things we go through are not easy.
And I should say, my parents are aging really really well... but they're still aging.
(What I really wanted to say is "having aging parents is a special kind of hell isn't it?" because that's the thought I had lying in bed last night.)