My Path to Gerontology
by Jacqueline Campbell< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >
Home Away from Home
In England my father would happily get waited on hand and foot by his sister in Manchester, even though she was older and more infirm than he was. This was her womanly role.
In the age-old tradition, I continued to care for him, administer his medications, monitor his health, do his laundry, cook his meals, taxi him home from the bar each evening to eat, and end all my activities to coincide with his needs, all the while trying to encourage my children to treat him with respect and kindness.
My husband was busy building his career, working endless hours, and was not as affected by the difficulties of dealing with Father as the rest of us. Their relationship was one of passive tolerance without any real involvement.
A year after my marriage ended I went on a camping holiday for a week. During that week, the younger of my two brothers came to Toronto and visited my father. He thought father appeared depressed and ill nourished and concluded that I was neglecting him, deciding that my father needed to come back to Montreal for a visit.
This he did. When I got home from my holiday, I told my brother that I thought it was his turn to keep our father, as I had done 11 years of duty without any help from him, and I was having a hard enough time managing my life as it was.