I saw the movie Nebraska recently and was struck by the younger son's realization on how important it was to his dad to make a lifelong dream come true, no matter how irrational it may have seemed to everyone else. His son originally agreed with his mom, his older brother and everyone else - Dad must have some dementia, doesn't really know what's going on, and is being duped by a particular situation.
How many sandwich generation adults, juggling the responsibilities of everyday life between careers, relationships and children along with caring for aging and ill parents, have faced the same struggle?
This son finally makes the connection that this is what is important to his dad in whatever months, weeks or days he has left in his life. He listens to what his dad always wanted, and then selflessly acts to make sure his dad's dreams are realized. It's a very poignant moment, and one we who struggle with parents who are living out their dreams in ways that may not seem rational or age-apporpirate must come to terms with.
What harm comes from realizing a dream at the conclusion of your life? Can you help a loved one reach that goal during their life journey? My goal would be to have as much impact as the younger son did with his father.
This blog post was written by Gloria D. Brooks, Arbor Hospice President and CEO. You may contact Gloria by commenting below or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.