I took my parents to get routine medical procedures done this morning. They are both in their 50's and that's about the time certain preventative things are done to ensure that a long, healthy life is in the future.
They were required to be put to sleep and my role was to help drive them home afterward. It hadn't occurred to me that I might be participating more than as just a chauffeur.
After they were both in recovery rooms I made my way back to sit with them and do whatever I needed to do. The doctor came in to speak to me and give me the good news of clean bills of health (Phew!) and to give me follow up instructions. He said it was a great idea that they both came in together and had someone to help them out. I casually said that it was their turn to be the kids and I was the temporary parent. He replied, just as casually, "Get used to it, it will happen again".
I get what he means. He must have been in his 50's himself and I bet he has aging parents he's cared for or knows someone who's care for an aging parent. My parents are young and healthy and I have no worries that I'll be caring for them long term anytime soon. But my first thought after the doctor said that to me was "Bring it".
My parents have taken such good care of me and my brother's. Whenever the time comes, many years from now, I'll be ready to do what I can to care for them. No matter what it is, I'm willing and ready to be that person who takes care of them and to be their advocate and their voice, just like they've done with me.
I'm honored to be the ones who's asked to help them. I consider it a privilege to be given such intimate access to their most vulnerable moments in life.They are my rock and I hope that I repay them the best way I can.