Senior Living: At Thanksgiving, give thanks to your parents


By Beth Dow, Home Helpers of GA & AL
I can remember standing in the parking lot at Chick-fil-A in LaGrange, probably 15 to 20 years ago, and 
fussing about something my momma had said or done.
I don’t remember exactly what it was, momma had a way of getting to me sometimes. She would tell me that I had gained weight… like I hadn’t 
noticed. She would give me money for a haircut, because “I obviously didn’t have the money to get a haircut or I wouldn’t be wearing it like that!”
She had her way.
As I was fussing, the person I was talking to said: “Aren’t you lucky that you still have a momma to drive you crazy?” Man, that hit me like a 2 by 4. She had lost her mom, and here I was rubbing in her face that I still had a mom that drove me crazy.

I was lucky enough to have a mom and a dad. I know now that I really didn’t know how lucky I was back then.
My dad has been gone for 3 years now. My mom, while physically still here, has been stripped of any resemblance of who she was by Alzhiemer’s. There is no longer any communication and when you look into her eyes, there is no one looking back. Though she is not really gone, I have lost her also.
When you lose someone, some days are harder than others. Last March, I had a fairly serious surgery and on the way to the hospital I realized that this was the first major medical event I had been through without my parents. They had always been there, both of them. Through childbirth, biopsies, illnesses – they were always right there. But not this time.
The same feeling came over my husband a few weeks ago. He lost his mom 14 months ago. Phillip was sick, with flu like symptoms, and had just woken up from a cold medicine induced nap when he said, “I just had the feeling that I needed to call mama to let her know I was sick.”
See, that is something we used to do, call our mommas to let them know that we were sick or not feeling well. Not because they could do anything about it, but just because we “needed” our mamas to know.
We are not alone, being parentless – most of our closest friends do not have their parents. It is a club you will join eventually as you get older.
As we approach this Thanksgiving season, I ask you not just to call your mom and dad and tell them that you love them, but let them know how thankful you are for them. I know it is easy to put them on the back burner with so many other people, jobs, and challenges, demanding your time.
I know that it is easy to get frustrated with them for the often-unfiltered things they say or do. But I also know that no matter how mad you may get at them now, no matter how much you don’t see eye-to-eye on things, no matter how much or how little you see them today, once they are gone, you would give anything to have one more Thanksgiving with them.
Beth Dow is the owner of Home Helpers and Direct Link of GA & AL. For more information, you can reach her at 678-876-5118 or visit their website: