My mom did a brave thing last month. After decades as a dedicated dental hygienist, she finally left a practice where she felt under-valued. She walked out the door without any acknowledgement and closed a chapter that — despite its struggles, also defined her as a professional. Her patients loved her, although I have no idea how they forged such strong bonds when her hands were in their mouths the majority of a visit.
I can’t say my mom’s retired, because she’s still working a few hours a week at another practice and dedicating full-time hours to be there for my grandpa, who just turned 94 and needs help staying in his own home. But she definitely took a leap.
My mom and I joke a bit about our daily parallels — getting up in the night to tend to someone else’s needs, or how the surprise appearance of bodily fluids can derail a day. The physical nature of caretaking the very young or elderly. On this mother’s day, I want to send her — and all of those who are reprising the role of mother for their own parent, a special thanks.
What you are doing takes courage, grace, a sense of humor and compassion.
This woman who is child, mother, grandmother – selfless, selfless, selfless.
Interesting Smithsonian article – “New Evidence that Grandmothers were Crucial for Evolution.”