There’s something beautiful happening at one of the homes in our cul-de-sac. It belongs to an older woman who lost her husband sometime before we moved here in 2014. I used to see her regularly heading out for a walk on the nearby hills, but I don’t see her often anymore. There was a water break in her house last year, and it’s taken many months for the repairs to be done. She spent some of that time with one of her sons at the coast. She’s back home now and her sons are often here too. Right now, they’re installing new baseboards.
Every time I see the vehicles of one of these young men back at her house, I reflect on the beauty of adult sons and daughters going out of their way to help their aging parents when necessary. My parents died young, but Gerry and his siblings went the extra mile for their parents as their health declined and they needed more assistance. It’s not always easy and requires sacrifice on the part of adult children. It also requires a measure of integrity, compassion, and, most of all, love.
Once upon a time, this was the norm, but we’ve grown independent over the years. It’s not uncommon for adult children to live on the other side of the country—or in another country altogether— from their parents. I’m seeing a trend, though. Older people moving to be closer to their adult children, sometimes sharing parts of the same home, and becoming part of the everyday life of their grandchildren—OR—young people returning to their hometown or whatever part of the world their parents inhabit either in preparation for the future when the older folks will need more help or because it makes financial or practical sense now.
Like everything else these days, families are changing. Our own family has changed with our daughter and granddaughter temporarily living with us. There’s unique richness for each one of us in the blending of the generations—a little craziness too, but that’s to be expected :-). Rich, crazy, and, yes, beautiful.