Talking with a friend recently, she shared her disappointment when her mom didn’t want to come to Easter dinner. “She’d rather sit home alone than spend the day with family?!” Since that conversation, I’ve done some thinking about it. Here are just 5 reasons that Mom (or Gramma) may not want to come to Easter dinner:
1. She is afraid of falling. She knows her own turf. She is confident and knows where to be extra careful in her house and even her garage. She doesn’t know your terrain, and it makes her nervous. She knows a fall could be deadly for her.
2. Her bathroom habits have changed in recent years and are a bit unpredictable. She is embarrassed, but doesn’t want to talk about it.
3. The conversation in a big group is confusing. It is too fast, and either too loud or too soft. It is often about subjects she does not understand such as social media, smartphones or current movies. It makes her feel unimportant and lost.
4. She feels secure in her own environment and in her own routine. She is very uncomfortable out of those surroundings.
5. Her world has gotten smaller and smaller over the years. The noise and space and people at a large family gathering cause her anxiety. Even though she loves these daughters, sons and grandchildren, the party-like atmosphere is often more than she can handle.
It’s hard to say what I will and won’t do when I’m over 85 years old. I know I don’t do some things now I use to do when I was 25 or even 35. So probably thirty years from now, I will have more things on my “don’t do” list than on my “to do” list.
Maybe we should look for ways to be creative with the elderly women (or men) in our lives. And when they decline a special dinner at our house, we could reply, “How about lunch one day earlier this week instead — just the two of us?”