Insights and encouragement for readers who are struggling with the changes in their relationships with aging parents.
For most of us it is not the
ifs but the
whens: when I notice the first signs; when we mourn the role reversal; when my children need me too; or when I don’t know how to pray. Those are just a few of the fifty-two reflections on the changes, challenges, and blessings of loving your parent as they grow older. Their lives — and yours — begin to change. Knowing that you are not alone, that others have been where you are, is encouraging and uplifting. This is not a how-to, but a me-too, as you see yourself and your own situation lived out in the stories of others.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ■ APRIL 10, 2017
As My Parents Age: Reflections on Life, Love, and Change Cynthia Ruchti. Worthy, $14.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-61795-752-9
Ruchti (Ragged Hope), author of novels and devotional guides, addresses a timely subject with sensitivity, humor, and wisdom. In short chapters with titles such as “When We Mourn and Embrace the Role Reversal” and “When My Siblings Disagree on My Parents’ Care,” she tackles the emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual challenges that accompany responsibilities to aging parents. Each chapter begins with a key idea, such as “Will we honor the cry on many parents’ lips regarding their children? ‘Please love each other when I’m gone’” and ends with a poem-prayer: “Hold me closer, Lord./ I miss the people they were.” Sharing stories from her own experiences caring for her parents, as well as those of others, she acknowledges distressing realities, such as the “heavyheartedness of watching unloving parents near the end of an opportunity for reconciliation,” while also challenging caregivers: “In what ways are we showing our aging parents that we value them, their counsel, their presence, their legacy?” Quoting liberally from scripture, Ruchti also offers sound theological guidance: “Purposeful remembering is important to God.” This book offers accessible and grounded spiritual guidance for caregivers of aging parents. (June)