For many years, it’s a parent’s job to look after their children. Then, later in life, it’s often up to the children to take care of their parents. Yet some people are at the point in life where they must do both at once. Angela Anagnost Repke is one such person.
When her daughter was just 6 weeks old and her son was only 2 years old, Repke’s mother was diagnosed with advanced cancer. Her 80-year-old father had shattered his hand and couldn’t take care of his wife by himself.
Repke decided to quit her job and move—with her children—into her parents’ home.
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In order to make this work, Repke needed to consider her husband’s situation. He worked Monday through Friday over 6o miles south of Repke’s parents. It didn’t make sense for him to move, so for most of the week, he stayed at their old place.
“Losing my partner on a full-time basis, which also meant losing a little bit of my sanity, and my children’s ability to see their dad, were problematic,” Repke said in her article on PopSugar. “But the entire shift was surprisingly effortless.”
“Grandma” helped a lot with this change. Between all the toys she bought and the larger size of her house, Repke’s kids spent a lot of time running around and playing.
This is my fearless daughter. She's wearing a cape. She decided she needed to take her heels off prior to her bars routine. I hope she has half of this confidence when she's older. Man, I love her.
Of course there were times the move was less convenient. When Repke’s brothers flew in to help their mom, it was always a bit cramped. Plus there were times where Repke really missed her husband but he assured her from afar that this really was a wise decision.
“We knew this setup was temporary, and we promised to get through it together, no matter the outcome,” she said.
During this time, Repke would cook, clean, and look after her mom, but she didn’t mind at all.
“Nurturing others was so natural for her, and it was now my turn to at least attempt to pay her back. I didn’t do as well as she did, but I did my best.”
Still, she wasn’t the only one taking care. Repke’s children helped heal their grandma in their own unique way.
“Their giggles, hugs, and even mischievous behavior gave my mother a purpose — something to fight for. They brought fun, innocence, and immaturity (in the best way) back into her life and were able to breathe new life back into her.”
Repke’s children gave their grandma the strength to beat cancer once and for all!
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Repke believes her mother might not have made it had they not moved in, though she feels she shouldn’t be the one being thanked.
“I don’t feel like a hero for simply doing my job as her daughter to take care of her, but my kids worked true magic. Without them, I’m certain my mother would have smiled less, cried more, and quite possibly given up hope.”
Repke can’t wait until her kids are older so that she can tell them the story of how they saved their grandma’s life.
“Somehow, I knew my kids would serve as the best medicine my mom could get. And I was right.”
Hoping you all have a memorable Fourth of July celebration. May the shenanigans ignite!