Reality Check

It’s funny how you go about life with inbuilt assumptions and unconscious beliefs even though you consider yourself reasonably rational and unbiased.

That’s human nature, I guess, but it still catches me by surprise from time to time.

I’m 38, open minded, intelligent and independent. I’m lucky enough to still have my grandmother here with us, as well as both my parents and both of my parents-in-law. And maybe that’s the problem.

They have always been there so I expect they always will. And that’s where I have been dealt a rather harsh reality check recently.

My parents are in their 70s – my Dad turned 74 last month, around the time he was admitted to hospital for a week with heart and respiratory issues. They are no longer spring chickens. There are more silver strands in their hair than brown, their gait has slowed down a tad and they are now fast friends with the folk at their local medical practice.

I guess that comes part and parcel with the aging process, after all.

The funny thing is I just haven’t noticed them getting any older. They have always been Mum and Dad. Up until now, they have been as they have always been, to my rose-coloured eyes, anyway.

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They are still active. They head off camping for a few months every year. They have travelled around Australia and have an active social life. Perhaps that why I have been blind to the march of time?

But as I approach 40 and middle age that means they inexorably inch closer to old age. And what comes next.

Being a much cherished daughter, I have always been a Daddy’s girl and have always looked up to my Father. He has always been strong. Bulletproof. Always there when I needed help or advice or support. Always able to be relied upon.


However strong and reliable he might be, he is mortal and not actually bulletproof, after all. His recent health scare and slow recovery has proved that beyond a doubt. And there is every chance he won’t ever fully recover.

And that is a truth that, deep down, I’d still rather not acknowledge.


Feeling a little reflective for IBOT this week.

Are you still lucky enough to have your parents with you? Have you had trouble accepting that they won’t be here forever? Or am I the only deluded one among us?

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13 Responses

  1. Ness says:

    I relate to this so much, Kirsty. My parents are in their 70’s too and I’ve always been a Mummy’s AND a Daddy’s girl. I’ve had a few friends lose a parent in the last year and started to realise this is going to happen and I can’t really imagine a life without my parents. Sigh.

    Anyway, I hope your father does recover and you still have many more years together with both your parents.xo
    Ness recently posted..I’m Dreaming of A Cancelled Christmas….

  2. Your parents sound awesome. I love that they go camping so much! I’ve never had much of a relationship with my father, but I’m extremely close to my mother, and I feel exactly the same way. I haven’t noticed her getting older. She is still the same person and she is (touch wood) healthy and strong. I absolutely cannot conceive of a world without her in it. And so I shan’t for now. There will be plenty of time for that later.
    Carolyn @ Champagne Cartel recently posted..Taming Clive, the anxiety monster

  3. Rhianna says:

    I lost my father four years ago, he was 80, mum is still going, though she is a fair few years younger than dad. It is hard coming to terms with the fact that your parents aren’t going to live forever. Sending some fairy wishes and butterfly kisses your way
    Rhianna recently posted..Getting away to Buley

  4. Lisa says:

    I am in my mid-30’s and have now lost all my grandparents in a space of 4-5years. Only my hubby’s 90yr old Nan left.My father in law just turned 70 & it wasn’t until we got the photos back from the party I realised that he has aged. It is a huge reality check for sure. Xx
    Lisa recently posted..Should I Induce My Christmas Present Early?

  5. I hear you! I do hope your father gets better soon. For me, I’m miles away from my parents and when I see them every few years, they seem to have aged heaps! My mum had a bypass surgery at 52 about 3 years ago and I think that’s when things hit me. The reality that some day, I might get a call that will mean I have to pack my bags and rush overseas…it’s still something I’d rather not think about but at the same time, I know at the back of my mind, it will happen. It’s scary because they seem so invincible in many ways just as you’ve described. I don’t think it’s stuff any of us like to think about.
    Psych Babbler recently posted..Steps to mend a broken heart

  6. Tegan says:

    I still have my parents, as well as my maternal grandmother but the mortality of my Granny has been playing on my mind lately. She’s always been the same for as long as I can remember. She was 40 when I was born (I’m the eldest grandchild) and so she is in her 60’s now but her smoking is catching up with her and she also only has one kidney. I guess we just get used to the idea of them always being there, we forget that as we grow older, so do they.
    Tegan recently posted..RedBalloon Marketplace Review

  7. I’m sorry to hear your dad has been unwell 🙁 I’ve had a similar wake-up call myself, my grandparents are in their early 80s and have always been really fit and active, but in August this year my granddad got really sick, sick enough that my mum jumped straight on a plane home to NZ (literally 2 hours after getting the phone call)and it was touch and go for a while there. He’s made a good recovery, but it’s really made me aware of how fickle time is, and that we’re all getting older. It bites!
    Emma Fahy Davis recently posted..The one where Mercedes has surgery

  8. Yep got both of mine, but they are older too, and Dad’s health in particular is not great. I do worry from time to time about him, but try not to let my head go there. It’s just to sad to imagine a world without him
    EssentiallyJess recently posted..Dear Santa 2.0 #IBOT

  9. I hope your Dad recovers okay. I only have my Dad left. Mum died when I was 15 and all my Grandparents were gone when I was young also. As for Dad he is 84 this year and fortunately still in good health, or as good as it gets at 84. I don’t know how I will be when he is gone, right now I am just loving that my girls get to know their Grandpa. x
    JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter) recently posted..Bon Jovi: The Good, The Bad and The Awesome

  10. We got a major reality check with my Dad about 6 months ago, he is ok now but it really makes you see what is important in life. He is only 65 and has lots more living to do. I wrote a story on his experience, I asked him was he embarrassed about it he said he wasn’t but it will always be a reminder to us how close he came that day. But you are right I and my friends are at an age now where are parents are becoming ill and it is another hurdle for us to accept as grown up adults.
    Sarah@SnippetsandSpirits recently posted..A Wee Snippet of Ireland

  11. My dad, 66, has major heart problems, they aren’t terminal but they are very serious. He’s at a stage with one main artery that they can’t do anymore for him. I have been quite aware of the fragile life is since he had his 5-way heart bypass some 17 years ago. I’m glad you haven’t had to worry until now, But also glad you have time to realise this and make the most of your time with him x
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted..Alvin the cheeky Elf – who is on everything except the shelf! Wordless Wednesday

  12. Miss Cinders says:

    I have both my parents still – well I think. I haven’t heard anything of my Dad in years. And Husband has both of his.

    Mum doesn’t live close, I only see her once or twice a year, but yes I do notice how much she isn’t a spring chicken anymore. Which annoys HER no end, because she’s such an active person!

    I have my head in the sand about the day my Mum passes over. I will miss her more than anything.

    MC xo
    Miss Cinders recently posted..Interview with a Blogger – Colours of Sunset

  13. My mother is here right now visiting from America. She is 73 and this is the first trip we really are liked in what she can do (she had hip replacement this year) suddenly ageing!!! My dad died young so this is a big step in adjusting to old age and the future. Hugs xxx
    Deb @ home life simplified recently posted..Looking back looking forward 2013

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