After an awesome four days at youth camp, came home to help Hubby deal with his aging parents. It is hard watching them get older and less able to care for themselves. My FIL has always been incredibly independent and hardworking. My MIL was the creator of the family, sewing, quilting, any kind of handy work. But I remind Hubby that we took care of my dad until cancer took him Home, and now we care for my mom, and his parents have earned their time in our sun.
It reminds me of so many census enumerations that I have found over the years. Forty year old couple, house full of teenagers, then that elderly mother or father the last line in the listing. The sandwich generation didn’t start with my generation. There have always been times when elderly parents moved in with graying children to be cared for and to care for teenagers. Thank God Mom’s health is still pretty good, though we spend a lot of time visiting doctor’s. She jokes, she needed a new hobby. She takes up the slack when I can’t be there, like today. She cares for #3 and transports her to sleepovers and shopping trips when Mom and Dad have to be away. And for that I am thankful. She feels like less of a burden, and I get clean laundry! Praise God for that.
So I look at those early census enumerations a little differently these days. What was that long ago ancestor’s health like? Why did she move in with her children? What chaos did that cause on both ends? Is the census telling me more about my direct ancestors than I realize? It seems my branch are always the caregivers. No matter how many siblings there were, it’s my direct ancestor that has Mom or Dad in old age. Maybe there’s something in our DNA that’s different from our siblings. Mom says there’s one in each line. The one you can depend on. The one that has it together. Who knew that was carried on the DNA? I guess now we do.