Stages of Life:
Taking Care of Mom and Dad
By Donna K. Lay, MS, LPC, CCMHC

Donna's Parents


A brown-haired girl toddled on unsteady legs after her Mom, both hands outstretched. Her Mom's hand found hers, reassuring and strong. The tyke's chubby hand fisted around one of her Mom's long fingers; she walked boldly into the world.

Though the words weren't spoken, the sentiment came through loud and clear. "Hold on tight, you're safe with me. Hold on tight. I won't let you fall."

The wheel of life turns, and years go by.

Now, age has bent the tall Mother, her slight form seems so frail and thin. Her long fingers are bent and shaking as she reaches for her brown-haired daughter's arm.

Age has reversed the roles; the elder is no longer the caretaker. And the toddler has had children of her own.

The daughter pauses, her head turned to her Mother with concern. "Are you okay?"

The mother nods but her hands reach out for reassurance as her stride falters. The daughter smiles and extends her hand. "Hold on tight, Mom. I've got you safe. Hold on tight, I won't let you fall."