Life goes on when you are out of the loop. It is interesting how easy it is to get caught up in your own little world while the rest of the world keeps humming along. It happens to everyone. Families working multiple jobs to make ends meet while dealing with childcare issues don't have the energy to stay in the loop with the world around them. People are busy with their own lives and taking care of their families and don't have time to pay attention to local, state or world affairs.
I have a dear friend whose mother has Alzheimer's. She and her sisters jointly care for their dear mother in their homes. Mama stays with one daughter Friday through Tuesday and goes to the other daughter's home Tuesday through Friday. The daughters work together to provide Mama the love and care necessary to make her life livable and surrounded with love.
Family tragedies happen every day to someone or some one's family. People suffer emotionally and life goes on. For me, dealing with a parent who has had a stroke and lives two and a half hours away means a lot of windshield time and being away from home for days at a time. And it means being out of loop which is not the norm for me.
It is easy to lose track of local and national news when your daily life is consumed by doctors, nurses, therapists and a father who no longer can retain the smallest bit of information for longer than two seconds and doesn't understand what has happened to him. A life changes in a medical instant and results in life altering decisions for both my father and step mother who have been living independently in their own home. The emotional toll on everyone is huge.
Physical therapy makes my father's body stronger but speech therapy, music therapy, and occupational therapy cannot repair those breaks in his brain that impact his cognitive skills. Every piece of information must be delivered over and over again as he struggles to understand and comprehend who people are and how he once knew them. Routine gives him piece of mind and a visit can throw his routine completely off. Our visits are not hours, they are days because the thought of leaving him alone to struggle through his new situation is almost more than we all can bear. He doesn't want us to leave and worries about how he will get to the dining room, who will help him get dressed or get ready for bed. He doesn't understand why this has happened to him and why he can't go home.
Making life changing decisions regarding their lives means selling a home, finding places for them to live without each other, coming to the realization that you must now take on the parenting of a parent and realizing that it is now your turn to give back to your parent what they have given to you your entire life. That's why they call it "family."
Changing roles. Life goes on. It's just different now.