Mum, Dad, I Missed You Both Today

9. Patio Garden

Mum, Dad, I Missed You Both Today

We were caring for you for more than twenty years, but what went on in those last few years? I feel as though we lost touch with the people you were. We were so busy with caring duties, we never had time for proper conversations with you.

Catering for your needs took over our lives. Shopping, running you to the hospital for appointments, and repairing all the things you so easily broke. Do you remember all the toilet seats we replaced, four in one year alone, and that was on top of you, Dad, knocking the radiator off the wall with your motorized wheelchair. We were also busy sorting out personal accidents like wet bedding and carpets. Fortunately they were only occasional occurrences.

Meals-on-wheels were welcomed until you, Mum, wanted them liquidized like baby food. After a couple of weeks on this chosen version, you said you didn’t want them like this any more. Could you have the same ones dad was getting? Of course, you could. No, you’ve changed your mind again, liquidized was best, for a few weeks at least until you wanted proper food again. You also hated anything green in your food, but dad would wolf everything down without complaint. You both loved your cakes and puddings though.

You only had me and my husband to rely on, and I depended on my husband too. I never learned to drive and so it was my wonderful husband, not me, who did the running around for you. I mainly just went with him.

He has serious heart problems too, but went out of his way to ensure you had everything you needed. Even when you rang up late one night and said you had no toilet rolls and thought you might need them, he went out on his own for you without complaint. He was already in his pajamas too and had to get dressed again. When he put them in your bathroom he saw the other two packs of four sitting there. We knew then, you just wanted re-assuring. You needed to see we’d be there if you wanted us. We understood your insecurity, it happens in old age.

Well, we were there for you. We didn’t feel we could go away on holiday and leave you, but eventually, after several years without a holiday, we needed a break. When we said we’d be going away for a short mid-week break, mum said she’d have to go to the doctors. When we asked what was wrong, she said she wanted to make sure she wouldn’t be ill while we were away. This sounds laughable now, but it was pretty normal for you, Mum. You’ve always been an anxious person.

Anyway that was our life for all those years.  How we would have loved the latter years to be full of fun, like it was before you became dependent on us. We had many wonderful holidays together, both when I was young, and later with my husband and children. I don’t remember you being so fussy then, Mum. Luckily, dad was always very easy going and had a wonderful sense of humour right up until he died aged ninety-seven.

How I’d love to have those happy times with you  back again. I missed you both today.

2004_0105Image0030 mum & dad

About caroleparkes

My husband calls me a butterfly because I flit from one hobby to another. Apart from being a wife for 52 years, a mother of three sons, and a grandmother, I'm also an author, genealogist, amateur artist, a lover of most needlecrafts, and occasional poet. Of the above, my most enduring interest has been writing and I hope to be doing it well into old age.
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30 Responses to Mum, Dad, I Missed You Both Today

  1. Pingback: Mum, Dad, I Missed You Both Today – The Magic of Stories

  2. Kazzmoss says:

    Reblogged this on The Magic of Stories and commented:
    What a wonderful thought proking piece. What came to mind was that at the time they thought that it would go one forever. What lovely caring people!


  3. chellecordero says:

    Carole, this is a wonderful and poignant essay. I lost my parents when I was newly married and in my 20s and I know how powerful memories can be, how they can sustain you. And now as my husband and I are aging and have some problems of our own, I worry about putting too much pressure on our children, I want them to have pleasant memories to sustain them when that day comes. Thank you for such thoughtful words.


    • caroleparkes says:

      I’m sure no matter how dependent you become, deep down, your children won’t mind. It’s the life and relationship you had with them before that counts in the end.


  4. Carole, I enjoyed the way you wove moments from your life with your parents into this post. A sweet blend of honesty, humor, and love.


  5. Your post caused me to ponder: 20 years to grow old enough to have children, 20 years raising them, perhaps 10 years of mostly peacefulness if one is lucky, 20 years to help care for grandchildren and one’s parents and 10 – 20 years being cared for.
    I am 62 with 3 children and 8 grandchildren. My Mum is 86 and has dementia which is such a cruel life’s end story.
    I am in awe of you and your husband’s 20 years of devotion – that is a lot of years! Give it the time it needs. ❤


    • caroleparkes says:

      What a thoughtful response! Thank you! Life can be cruel as we, and our loved ones, age. It must be hard when a parent has dementia, and my heart goes out to you and your elderly mother. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too.

      By the way, I love your website ‘Wild Daffodil’ and your explanatjon forthe name. You are another soul, like me, who loves to try new creative tasks. Did you see my paintings and craft work?


      • Thank you Carole. Great to have you aboard Wild Daffodil! I have just had a lovely tour round your art and craft work – thank for the prompt! – yes it seems like we are interested in a similar variety of arts and crafts. It’s fun to find like-minded souls in blogland!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. lbeth1950 says:

    What a struggle. Maybe soon you’ll be remembering the better days.


  7. Pingback: Free-For-All-Friday # 20 | Edwina's Episodes

  8. marianbeaman says:

    Labours of love and duty – but oh, those empty chairs.


  9. My Crazy Life says:

    What a lovely, honest tribute.


  10. That was a lovely post Carole. I know how hard it must have been for you and your husband caring for your parents in their latter years, especially as it becomes a totally different relationship when they become so dependant on you. Your parents were so lucky that you did that for them, and I am sure they must have appreciated it hugely. That photo of the two empty chairs is so poignant, I bet they loved spending time with you and your family 🙂


    • caroleparkes says:

      We did have some great times together. My eldest brother and his family were close too but lived some distance away.My eldest brother, who suffered with MS died in 1999. Mum and Dad always came to us at Christmas until the last couple of years when they were in a nursing home. My other brother, emigrated to Australia in 1965, fifty years ago, but has been visiting the UK every year for about twelve years. Every year thinking it would be the last time he’d see mum and dad. He’s coming to visit in a few days.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Barbara says:

    My mum died this year Carole. Me and dad had been looking after her for the past five years.

    Mum had dementia and it was awful to see how it slowly and painlfully took her away from us. The last twelve months were the worst. She suffered terribly physically.

    It is something me and dad will never forget. We love and miss her very much and I wish she was still with us. One day I hope we will be able to remember good times. Time is a healer and we are slowly moving forward.

    Thank your blog Carole, it has allowed me to talk about my mum.

    Love and best wishes, barbara


    • caroleparkes says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your mum, Barbara. You and your dad must miss her a lot. Take comfort from the fact you both did your best for her. End of life relationships can be very hard to deal with even without dementia.

      I do hope your dad is well and coping with the loss of his wife. Talking about her will help, so I’m glad my post helped you talk about her. It’s good to keep her memory alive; she was part of your lives for many years.

      I have an inkling of what you went through as we saw a lot of dementia sufferers at the nursing home my parents were in. My dad too was in the early stages I think. He had periods where he was confused, calling me his aunt, sometimes his sister, and other times he just didn’t know who I was. He thought my husband was just the man who came to shave him. Sometimes, I think he pretended he’d forgotten and made a joke of it but other times he definitely had.

      Thank you so much for sharing your family experience with me. I appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. davidprosser says:

    It’s funny the things that trigger the memories. It’s so easy to become lost in them too.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • caroleparkes says:

      Thank you, David. Wow! Two huge hugs in one day. My eldest son, also called David, gave me a huge hug today as well. I’m feeling well hugged.

      You’re right! It’s easy to dwell too much in the past. The secret is to mentally keep your memories in a box, and only visit them once in a while. On that occasion you can recall all the happy, funny, romantic, frustrating, or tear jerking moments with that person, then when you’re done, lock them away again and get on with your life. The memories will always be there. They can be visited whenever you feel the need, but we shouldn’t let the past rule your present.


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