How many assumptions do you make about yourself, your life, others, work, how things will be?
Remember my buddy who I sent the care package to earlier in the year and how I couldn't believe he was thoughtful enough to send me a gift to cheer me up when he was going through crazy stress?
Well, his reality is that his wife just had her 6th surgery in the past 3 years and it is seriously looking like her condition is going to be a lifelong disability. They have a 5 year old who is vibrant and smart and has had to take on the emotional burden of not having a Mother around very much while watching her Dad hold things in so he doesn't overtly show too much he is falling apart inside, when we both know, they know.
On paper, they show like a "perfect" family. Mom and Dad, both Doctors, one child they cherish, reasonable expectations for life. They are not world travellers, don't eat out much, OK with one child, thankful, do not intend to trade up their first house -- He said the next move he makes will be to the grave yard... Modest cars and lifestyle. They own a timeshare within a few hours drive away. They enjoy skiing and golf.
They felt they had planned well, made good decisions and were on the road to early and sustained success.
Until it didn't. Neither of them anticipated the massive change in events when the first "simple" surgery occurred. He is at the point where he can barely talk about it. He has missed so much work and sleep that (in his words), if he was an employee, he would have been fired by now. Luckily his patients have been understanding. She works in a group practice so her associates have been taking over.
This is not the way he thought their lives would be at this stage of their careers. Because of chronic exhaustion, worry, preoccupation, it has led to a few accidents on his end recently. One which totalled his early 90's car. No big lost there and he was fortunate not to be hurt badly from it. Having to buy a replacement car though ate up more time than he had.
I often try and put myself in their shoes in an effort to understand how it must feel. Both of them are career driven, giving people and it slays them to be so off course. And because there is a child involved, it isn't all about you and your career or financial planning anymore.
The psychological impact of seeing your parents go through something like this and being dragged to the ER in the early morning hours, with your Mom in extreme pain is significant. Neither of them have available family support.
Be grateful for your health, for time, for each other, for all the minutes, hours, days, years that are "going your way".