Returning the Favor

While celebrating my husband’s tenth work anniversary with his employer along with the other long term employees, a subject came up that is becoming more and more common. Seems that one of his bosses is taking care of his dad just as his dad once took care of him. Health issues have forced his fiercely independent father to move in with him and his family so he can be cared for.

The gentleman mentioned that he was just doing what he knew was right. He said makes every effort to maintain his dad’s independence when possible, and to allow him some freedom of choice in various matters. After all his father raised him, loved him, took care of him, so why shouldn’t he do the same for him? Apparently other family members have also tried to intervene and done their best so now it’s his turn.

Today’s society doesn’t necessarily encourage selflessness, as witnessed by the upcoming Black Friday sales and commercials. Seems we are supposed to take what we can get and not worry about what the consequences are. Instant gratification is all that matters. And yet, I can tell by talking to this kind, sweet, person, that he is happiest giving back to the man who gave him life, who taught him some lessons along the growing up path, because he wants to and because he’s doing so out of love.

Trading places with your parent can’t be easy, as they become the child and you the adult in charge of their everyday needs and care. Decisions once made by mom and dad have to be made by you, and that can be hard.  The payback is tremendous; everyone learns valuable lessons in loving one another, that family is important, no matter what the circumstances.  My husband’s boss is a great role model for his own children. Teaching by example. What better way than to show, so that the lesson is understood by one’s actions.

Role reversal is hard on a family especially when the child has to be the parent and the parent the child. The parent becomes the guardian over the adult who raised them, who gave them a chance to live in this world. I can only imagine the stress and worry but at the same time, I can sense the peace of mind and happiness that this man has inside of him. He loves his father so much that he’s making sure that he gets the right care when he needs it. Family first. That’s love. My hand is extended to you, my friend. It’s as if he’s returning the favor, paid in full.

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