Layers of Life


I am probably cheating a bit here by not sharing one of my own photos for this week’s photo challenge, instead I am sharing an old photo of my beautiful parents in the bloom of their life.

Parents

Mum and Dad before I was born

Why?

I am reminded of the quote “Life is like an onion: you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep”.

When I saw the prompt for this week’s Photo Challenge asking us to share a photo that shows a sense of layers, I immediately thought of this quote.

I have just spent time with my mother who now lives alone as my father is in a care facility due to having debilitating Parkinson’s Disease.  During my visits to him I took the opportunity to look around at the other residents and wondered to myself, what sort of old lady will I be in years to come?

Our lives are made up of many layers and they dictate who we are and who we become to some extent.

Will I be the querulous old lady who demands non-stop attention and who tests everyone’s patience; or will I be the sweet faced old lady who sits quietly and does what is expected of her; will I try to escape at every opportunity; or be the one who asks the staff if my booking is confirmed for another night at this resort; or will I not know who I am or where I am or who is visiting me??

My father was once this amazingly handsome, clever, funny and interesting man who is slowly fading away before my eyes.

The staff all think he’s wonderful (which he is of course), they all like him due to his easy compliant nature, his quirky sense of humour and his natural sparkling personality which manages to flash every now and again.

He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t cause many problems for them and he tries hard to stay involved with activities and people. My father was once this amazingly handsome, clever, funny and interesting man who is slowly fading away before my eyes.

He is still my father and we shared some great memories during my visit.  I even joined him at the drumming session, which was loud, noisy and chaotic.  It was fun and the happy faces around me showed me how much enjoyment these types of activities can bring.

It’s not the life either of my parents expected to have in their later years, but whoever knows what life will bring? My mother is having to learn how to be resilient, how to cope on her own, make decisions, be on top of everything, stay in touch with friends and family, take care of herself and she is doing a great job under the circumstances. My one piece of advice, if you can ever give your mother advice, is to learn how to pace herself.

1960 with dad

Life is indeed like peeling the layers of an onion and can make you cry, but it can also make you smile and be thankful for the life we’ve had.

We just need to make the most of what we’ve been given and appreciate our life at every stage.

Mum and dad have always been great teachers and they are still showing me the way ahead.  I just hope I can follow their great example.

Deb xx

You can also find Deb’s World here – I’d be delighted if you’d join me.

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Layers of life are like the layers of an onion. Musings about aging parents.

Layers of life

  One thought on “Layers of Life

  1. Anonymous
    September 22, 2017 at 10:37 am

    A nice blog Deb, I’m sure you will be the sweet old lady as you are a sweet young – ish lady now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Donna
    September 22, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Such a beautiful, heartfelt post, Debbie. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 22, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks for reading and sharing Donna, it helps to write down my thoughts.

      Like

  3. September 22, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Clicked over from the Blogger’s PitStop
    =================
    Beautiful photos and beautiful post! Bittersweet.

    When we are young we look at “old folks” – whether in a facility of some sort or not – almost as if they are from some other planet. As we get older, we worry if our own parents are headed in a similar direction — and then if WE are, as we get older still. Inside, however, we are still US throughout our lives – peeling layer after layer of life’s onion.

    I am glad that you still reach out to your father and can see the “person” your mother is struggling to reveal. Thanks for posting this. I wish my own parents were still alive for me to be able to share something similar.

    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks for your understanding Madelyn, it is bittersweet, that’s a great adjective to use! I know it’s personal stuff but it’s good to share these feelings and I’m proud of my parents.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. September 22, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Beautiful post Deb. You’re right – we don’t know what life will bring us in later years. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. September 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Lovely post. Parents are so much apart of our layers. They may be the ones closest to the core.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. September 22, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    How lovely. I’d like to think I’d be the old lady asking if I’m booked in at the resort for the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. September 22, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    This post was so timely! I had the same type of discussion yesterday, with one of best friends and cousin. We’re like our mothers, close friends throughout life. They’re now 87 and 85 respectively, still in relatively good health. They both had many kids, so there are many of us to care for them. Times have changed though and I have no idea about where we will end up at their age.
    I don’t even have kids! And I may be together with Desley, asking if I’m booked in at the resort! 😆
    Above all, your post was heartfelt and insightful, and I could feel the love and care for your parents in every sentence.
    You will be loving and caring, Debbie, your whole life. No doubts.
    Thanks for a beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Lucile. I’m glad to say my mother liked it too, which is good 🙂 I just felt I had to get the words down while they were fresh in my mind. It’s funny how things can be so timely like that. Take care!

      Like

  8. September 22, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    This is a beautiful post, Deb. It’s poignant, rich with love woven between the words, and a dash of heavy heart ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mvobsession
    September 22, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 23, 2017 at 6:28 am

      Thanks for reading and leaving me s comment. It was hard to write but good for me at the same time.

      Like

  10. September 22, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    What a heart warming post Deb. So challenging to see our parents age and change. I think you will be a lovely little old lady who organizes the rest of the nursing home crowd to go walking in the gardens of the courtyard.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. September 23, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Liked by 1 person

  12. September 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Oh this is really beautiful and timely for me as I shared a wedding pic of my parents from 1963 this past week (it would have been their anniversary). My dad passed away 6yrs ago next month and he had dementia for 5-6 years before he died. Interestingly his long term memory was mostly okay and it was his short-term memory that was the problem. He’d also had a heart transplant (in 2000) and my mum was his carer from that point on. It’s sad to see your parents going through stuff like that, but you’re right it’s a reminder that life’s short. My dad’s passing was one factor in me making my seachange the following year. I realised I was looking down the barrel of an unhappy life and it wasn’t what I wanted.

    xxx #teamlovinlife

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 23, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks Deborah for your understanding. It is hard to watch happen and it’s not often talked about openly so I made a decision to write my thoughts down. I hope your sea change has worked out for you and your life is happier now. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 30, 2017 at 11:56 pm

        I am certainly glad that you wrote it Debbie and it is certainly a subject that most steer clear of, due to fear or plain don’t want to know. You are certainly getting the most out of life, so you will be an interesting old bird to know LOL 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • October 2, 2017 at 5:42 pm

          I love that comment! I will try very hard to continue being an interesting old bird!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • October 2, 2017 at 6:37 pm

            You will be I tell! I go with my gut-instinct when applying for housesits and I haven’t been wrong yet with the good ones, same with blogging 🙂 Now back to the zillion emails before we can go out for the day!

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Jo
    September 23, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I’ve begun to think that we don’t really get to know our parents until we’re older. I look at pics of my parents then & now and think of those same layers. I don’t think it occurs to us to wonder about their ambitions or dreams or disappointments until we’re dealing with their aging. This was beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 23, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you Jo, what you say is very true. There are so many layers going on and we only see or know the top of the iceberg.

      Like

  14. Anonymous
    September 25, 2017 at 6:07 am

    That onion quote is definitely a keeper 🙂
    #teamlovinlife

    Liked by 1 person

  15. September 25, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Thank onion quote is definitely a keeper
    #teamlovinlife

    Liked by 1 person

  16. carrieandkat
    September 25, 2017 at 10:17 am

    A very heartfelt post and I really enjoyed reading about your love for your parents. It makes me remember my father who slowly disappeared before my eyes from cancer at a very young age. Glad your mom is doing well in handling this situation and hoping things go well down the road for you and your parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      I’m sorry to hear of your experience with your dad. It’s a difficult time for everyone but it’s good to write these thoughts down while I’m thinking them. Thanks for dropping by 😊

      Like

  17. September 27, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Debbie, this is such a lovely post. It is real and despite the freedom that all the empty nesters have, life does not go on forever. We all need to take care of our lifestyle choices that may enhance our quality of life. Your parents look so beautiful and it must be hard, especially to see your dad not able to be as he once was. I think we should feature your post.
    Kathleen

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 27, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my post Kathleen. I’m thrilled you’d like to feature it!

      Like

  18. September 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Debbie, I found you at Susie’s party. Loved the read. I often wonder about the challenges of old age and how I would cope with it. Though it seems to be a far away thing, I know I will be there some day. Your writing throws light on a lot of things related to coping with old age. Thank you for writing about it in such a wonderful way ..

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 27, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks for visiting and for leaving me such a lovely comment. I felt I had to write it at the time it was going through my head. Yes most of us will have to deal with these issues one day.

      Like

  19. September 27, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    I really relate to your introspective insights about aging. I’m a new follower.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      Welcome along!! I enjoyed getting my thoughts down in words in this post and am glad you can relate.

      Like

  20. September 28, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    I love your post and pray I’m that person who does what’s expected of me. Our family has gone through a tremendous amount of death recently. We worried my mom would be next, but I’ve never seen her so strong!!
    Thanks for sharing this at my party!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      Thanks for the comment Susie, I’m glad to hear your mum is getting stronger again. I’ve been visiting a few other party attendees with more to come when I have some quiet time.

      Like

  21. September 29, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    What a sweet post! I’m glad it was chosen for Pit Stop. Dealing with aging parents can be a challenge, but also a joy. I like your analogy of peeling back the layers and adding layers of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks very much Michele, for your kind comments. I was torn whether to write it or not, as it is so personal, but decided I had to get my thoughts down while I had the chance. My mother was very pleased to read it, which I was happy to hear! Life is full of layers. Lovely to hear from you, and know you came via Bloggers Pit Stop. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. September 30, 2017 at 1:35 am

    I clicked on your post yesterday afternoon as I wanted to read it but I ran out of time. I now think it was the universe at play that a made today the day I read this beautiful post. Today is my deceased Godfather’s birthday. Your post gave me some comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 1, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Thanks Elise, it’s funny how these things work out sometimes isn’t it? Hope you are feeling OK with your memories.

      Like

  23. Julie
    September 30, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Beautiful Deb and I am sure you will be the one organising all the social trips, dressup days and functions in the nursing home. Hope I get to go to the same one as you it will be fun xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 1, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      We should plan it now Julie! We’d have a blast together 🙂

      Like

  24. September 30, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Beautiful and it left me teary. As you know my Mum has Parkinson’s. Yes, I do sometimes wonder what we will be like in old age. Such another vulnerable stage of our lives. This is why we are out there doing as much as we can now. Enjoy Fiji and the wedding ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 1, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Oh bless you Suz, I didn’t mean to make anyone teary! I agree with you, now is the time to get out there and just do it! I’m sooo looking forward to Fiji, the wedding and seeing Melanie again of course 🙂 Thanks for your lovely comment and your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. October 1, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    A beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes Debbie x oh for a magic wand to fix all the troubles everywhere x

    Like

  26. October 2, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Wow…..thank you for this post. It was bitter sweet but lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 2, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks for reading and leaving me a lovely comment. It was definitely bittersweet.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. October 2, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Beautiful post Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  28. October 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Beautiful tribute to your parents. Thanks for sharing. It’s true. We need to make the most out of whatever life is throwing at us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 4, 2017 at 5:49 am

      That’s so very true! Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment.

      Like

  29. October 4, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Oh, I have a lump in my throat. The picture of your parents is adorable, as is the one of baby you with your dad. As I get older myself, I still can’t get my head around it all, my aging parents and then to make sure my own children will be OK when I’m not here too. It makes me feel so melancholy 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 4, 2017 at 5:46 am

      I know what you mean zen, it’s sometimes so hard seeing them as they were compared to now and knowing it will happen to us too one day. I didn’t mean to be melancholy I wanted to get my thoughts down! Thanks again for reading and enjoy every moment. 😊

      Like

  30. October 4, 2017 at 5:56 am

    This is so beautiful and poignant. You really struck a chord with me, and it seems your other readers too!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. October 4, 2017 at 10:23 am

    What an honest and heartfelt relay of the experience you are going through right now. I lost my father 21 years ago quite suddenly. Four years ago my grandfather who took his place by my side took a turn for the worse. I’ll never forget my grandmother driving me to the facility at which he was recovering from a series of operations, “His life is just ebbing away.” It gave me goosebumps, and to be honest she was so run down by the quick pacing that her spirit had begun to fade in her pupils. Advice for your mom as well, take care of yourself. ❤ You are one lucky girl to have such amazing parents!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. October 4, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Beautiful post! We all have so many different layers. Your parents are amazing people. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  33. October 9, 2017 at 10:38 am

    What a beautiful, moving post, and a gorgeous picture of your parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 13, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Thank you, they certainly were a gorgeous couple. They still are but in different places now.

      Like

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