We were up visiting my 81-year-old father today, getting ready to help him home from the hospital. We're staying for a week in order to help him transition back into living by himself after major surgery. As we met with the doctors and worked on what we needed to have in place, it occured to me that we had all been here before.
It's the same conversations Dad had to have with the doctors when Mom came home from the hospital near the end of her life. And it was the same conversation both Mom and Dad had with the doctors when Grandma was near the end of her life. And it was one Dad, Mom, and Grandma had with the doctors near the end of Grandpa's life.
It occurred to me that it will be a conversation I'll have again about other loved ones, and perhaps one my children will have for me. I hope the same compassion my father showed at those times -- and I felt today -- I'll experience when it's my turn to be the subject of the discussion.