Snow Worries and Aging Parents

As a teacher it used to be that I thought about time off from school when snow was predicted. Now I have parent “SnowWorries,” and I rarely get around to anticipating snow days. During a big snow storm, and we’ve had a bunch this winter, my anxiety level is higher than usual. Not crazy high, just worried.

In December, when my husband’s mother was still alive, we had a huge snowstorm with more than 20 inches of snow in our yard. Transportation was difficult. Fortunately we had people who helped to care for Mother around the clock, and one caregiver practically moved into her apartment for two-and-a-half days during the actual storm. We were lucky, but we worried just the same, because it was several days before we could get over to see her (a long period — not common for us), even though we were only a couple of miles away from her apartment.

However, I also worry about my parents who are 120 miles away. Their retirement community takes care of all shoveling and plowing, so the only thing they need to do is sit tight until they can safely get out again (sitting tight is not a concept that I typically associate with my parents). Both of my parents are able to drive and get from place-to-place so they are still self-sufficient and independent. Still in this weather I worry about falls and the occasional inclination to pick up a snow shovel.

Now another snow storm!  Even more than 20 inches is expected here. Their area is to be even harder hit than mine. The snow is, once again, falling over a weekend when I had planned to visit them. This is definitely reverse parenting, though I know they prefer not be be parented.

Daily phone calls help. I must get my mother signed on to a texting plan and teach her how to use it. This would make instant communication possible, and I would find that reassuring. Plus my mom would be tickled to learn how to text, even at a cost of five dollars a month added to her mobile phone bill.

 I wish I could coordinate my life a bit more so that I could make the drive more often. Really I just wish we had a weekend when there was not a snow storm.

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