Strange to say, but ‘It’s not all about me’ this Blog is a part of the story of my life in my journey with Parkinson’s, but it is also about my family.
With the weekend coming up, I had made plans to have my three grand-daughters to stay for the weekend. They are 13 year old twins and their 9 year old sister. I was looking forward to spending time with them and also to sharing my new spa pool with them. However, my daughter rang me to tell me that she and her husband were going to their holiday home this coming weekend and that the girls had expressed that they wanted to come with them, instead of coming to stay with my husband and I.
I could hear in my daughter’s voice that she had some concern for me that I might perhaps be upset at my grand-daughters’ choice to be with their parents this weekend. The thing is this. I have been looking forward to seeing them and I am consciously wanting to spend more time with my family since my diagnosis. But – as I said to my daughter – the girls are all of an age where their choices need to be respected. I know that it’s not that they don’t want to come and stay with us, just that they needed more to spend some quality family time with their parents this weekend. The thing I don’t want to happen is that the girls – or any of my family – feel that they have to put my needs first because of my diagnosis. I know we have plenty of time to spend with each other over the years and because I love them and want to support them, it is important that I understand what is important to them too.
It takes me back to when my children were teenagers, especially my daughter. As she entered into her teenage years she spent more time in the weekends with her friends and later boyfriends. It is the natural way of things as our children grow. My daughter and I talked about how important it is for her and her husband to have family time with the girls, while they are still wanting to spend time with them. For anyone who has raised children, you will remember the stage where your children no longer want to holiday with their parents, but opt more and more to spend time with their friends.
I never want to be the Nanna that imposes her wishes upon her grandchildren. I know that my daughter is raising strong, independent young women and I am proud of who they are becoming. I will continue to cherish my time with my girls and even if that time may decrease as they go through these teenage years, I will make the most of the time they wish to spend with us.
So, it is not all about me. It is about recognising that while my family love me, they have lives of their own and their own needs to be met. Parkinson’s or no Parkinson’s it is important that while they do their best to support me, it is important that I support my family too!