Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mission Impossible

I'm heading back to Kansas City today. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready to get back to my regular life. I've been here 10 days and in retrospect, I'm not really sure I've accomplished very much.

I came here with a plan to convince my parents to make changes around three critical issues: Access to Care; Transportation; and Daily Living. I wanted them to consider living closer than 60 miles from the nearest hospital that can take care of them, and to not drive as much, especially in emergency situations. I wanted them to consider regular in-house care so that someone could do day-to-day things for them like grocery shopping and getting a box out of the attic. And how'd that go over? Like a ton of bricks. I got as far with them on those three things as I would've gotten had I proposed never watching TV again, getting a sex change or voting for Hillary.

I shouldn't feel defeated, but I do. It was a bit naive for me to think I could fly in and make sweeping changes in their lives. After all, they've been sitting in the same chairs thinking the same way about the same things for a long, long time. If anything, I raised some issues for them to think about and let them know where their kids stand on their health care. I also got to show them a few pirated movies they wouldn't have otherwise seen, and hung new house numbers on their mailbox.

Funny thing, I think the thing they appreciated most was me just sitting on the couch watching TV with them. And lord knows, I can sit on a couch like nobody's business.


At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom and Dad have been this way for a long time, Dave. You did the best that you could and I truly admire they fact that you stood up for what you and I believe is best for them. Neither of them got the way they are overnight. Just remember all of this when you are a cranky old stubborn man and my kids are trying to get you to make "good decisions" for yourself. Look at it this way, we had our usual great time together, you learned to crochet, I have a couple of awesome CDs you made for me, I saw more movies in a week than I have seen in 5 years, and we both did what we could do for them at this juncture. Perhaps they will make some changes. I doubt it, but at least they let Trina take you to the airport. That's a step. Okay, it's a baby step, but a step nonetheless. I appreciate all that you do for this family. I love you, dearly. Love, KJ

At 11:51 PM, Anonymous David in KC said...

I really admire you for taking the time to fly down there and support your folks at this point in their lives. You're a good man.

I'm dealing with my 90 year old dad driving from Liberty to Lenexa six days a week on I-35 - often at night. He believes he's just fine. I'm terrified by the thought of him causing other people harm or worse.

It's a process - no one wants to give up adult independence. Good luck as you make this journey.


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