Yes, it’s all coming back now.
Last August, I experienced both anticipated and unexpected reactions physically and emotionally at the one-year anniversary of my father’s passing. As the two-year marker of August 26th approaches anew, I’m yet aware of legacy shreds on the heels of what was unquestionably THE most traumatic chapter of my 56 years on planet Earth so far.
You know what else? Society’s opinions are of zero relevance to me. Forget about the injunctions that I “should” long ago be “over it”. And then there’s the ubiquitous “suck it up”… Not!
Anyone with truly Un-cope-able Parents needs no convincing that they will drain the life force out of you, if you let them. If you have agreeable elders, thank your lucky stars!
More on “Life with Father”…
As mentioned last time, “it ain’t over till it’s over”.
Allow me to share just a few snippets from the decline in my father’s driving capability. Now, there’s a fully-loaded subject if you ever heard one right?
- In September 2010, we had a shocking incident while backing out of his driveway in which both feet were unequivocally positioned on the accelerator (based on careful reconstruction I undertook in my mind afterwards). This resulted in a rocket-fast careen straight out and in reverse up the street until control prevailed and he shut down the motor at the base of the neighbor’s drive. If my father were still with us, he would vociferously deny that the error was human. He’d insist the gas pedal stuck. I was there to know differently. Even though a non-driver, I’m well-enough informed to realize the truth. Trust me, it was his mistake.
- I’ve previously commented on the first (and only) time ever in 72 years of driving that my Dad failed his Province of Ontario written driving test in November 2010. Together, these scenarios had a significant destructive effect upon his bombastic “story” of being a stellar driver from before age 16 to 88.
- Fast-forward to February 2012 when the laden subject of renewing his automobile insurance reared its ugly head. By that point, believe me this would have been a strictly ego-based move on my father’s part. How costly it would have turned out, just so we could have boosted some more what was already unattractive arrogance on this subject!
Take away the car keys!
Are you perhaps already screaming inside your head: “Take away his d–n car keys!” I hear you!!
Here’s the deal.
First off, if you have an authentic Un-cope-able Parent on your hands, you NEVER use language like “take away”!
When dealing with a disobedient child, how does “taking away privileges” work? Sure, you can ground them or issue time-outs and they will be forced to comply. However, when dealing with a petulant elder where The Terrible Two’s have become what I call “The Awful Eighties”, how well do you think that goes??? Not so much!
All unfolds in right timing.
If we return to the LOVING ACTION of Trust, I firmly believed during the spring/summer of 2012 that all aspects of “Life with Father” were taking their own due course.
This was in spite of the extreme challenges that were mounting almost daily. “History” has shown me to be accurate.
As I begin to author my follow-up volume during this summer 2014, Coping with Un-cope-able Systems: ADVOCACY for Eldercare, I look forward to sharing how I was not at all the proverbial ostrich with his head in the sand, but instead a 53-year-old daughter who was well familiar with my Dad for over 30 years as an adult.