Maybe this is why I fear aging and death.
Maybe this is why I freak out when people ditch animals in shelters once they're older and replace their dogs and cats with kittens and puppies... also, that's like a seriously evil thing to do.
When we get older, is when we need our family the most regardless of species.
My mom had a full shoulder replacement this month so I took a trip to Oklahoma to be a good daughter and help out. My parents are older, my dad is going to be 86 in a few weeks and my mom is 75 and their age is a contributes to the level of help and care they need. I was prepared for my mom's situation and that she would be in recovery but I wasn't prepared for what I witnessed with my dad. I've watched him age for a couple of decades now and more rapidly in the last 10 years but it was like someone pushed the 'lightspeed' button from the last time I saw him and it was hard to grasp how quickly his mind and body have deteriorated... in even a month. My dad is old... my fear is that he will die soon. My heart hurts. I don't like watching this.
My sister was flying into Oklahoma to also help out and our trips were overlapping. I was heading to the airport to go pick her up with plans to just meet her curbside. In my mind, it would be easier than parking the car and walking with my father through the airport because he's not very stable on his feet. Both my mother and father began to protest, "NO!!! We must go in! We don't ever NOT go in! Meeting at the gate is the right thing to do!" My mom wasn't coming along but she was not ok with curbside and made her southern twang heard. And I'm like "Gimme a break, this is 2018, no one takes it personally if you pick them up curbside.. in fact, it's more convenient for all parties involved. We're going to pick Becky up curbside!". I was determined to win. I'm the driver and the young, smart one here. I want it MY WAY!
And then a few moments later it occurred to me that maybe I was being a jerk. Maybe my dad wouldn't have many more opportunities to meet his kids at the gate in the airport. Who am I to rob him of that? So, I parked the car and in we went.
I accidentally parked much further away than planned which was a real bummer because I had to watch my dad walk much more than he's used to. And he has too much pride for a wheelchair or any type of assistance. So I held his arm and pretended it was because I needed him, my dearest dad, to escort me. His pride can be such an issue... so I had to put on a real show of not looking worried as he walked with his body looking so tippy I thought he was going to fall and hit his head. I also tried to hide the tears in my eyes that were beginning to well up. My father is aging... he can't really walk through the airport but he wants to be there when his daughter gets off the plane. One of the employees at the airport asked if he needed a wheelchair. At that single moment, I was glad he's hard of hearing or it would have pulled the curtain on everything. My dad needed to walk to greet Becky and there was no stopping him. *BAWLING*