While I don’t usually use the prompts that Linda helpfully lists for Just Jot It January, I decided to use the prompt today from Sadje, reversal.
I immediately thought of role reversal in the context of family, specifically as it pertains to generational caregiving. As a child, my parents took care of me and my sisters. When I became an adult and especially a mother myself, I appreciated that my parents continued to care for us, although in a different and appropriate way than when I was a child.
As my parents aged and encountered health problems, though, our roles reversed and I became a caregiver to them. That being said, caring for an aging parent is different than caring for a child. My parents had chosen to enter a senior continuing care community, so household help and the ability to move between levels of care from independent to assisted to skilled nursing was available to them. I was able to concentrate on helping with medical needs, handling bills, chauffeuring, running errands, and emotional support.
Our roles reversed in terms of caregiving but not in personal terms. They were always my parents and I was always their daughter. Even though they have both passed away now, I’m still their daughter.
That will never change.
I’m thinking about this in a particular way right now as I’m preparing my chapbook Hearts for publication later this year by Kelsay Books. The poems center around my mother, particularly her last few years battling heart disease. There are several poems that deal with the generations of women surrounding her, her mother and me, her granddaughter, and great-granddaughter.
Earlier this week, I received a beautiful blurb that will go on the back cover. It referenced this generational element in the manuscript.
Join us for Just Jot It January! Details here: https://lindaghill.com/2023/01/13/daily-prompt-jusjojan-the-13th-2023/