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A Daughter’s Journey Blog Series

About the Writer

A Daughter's JourneyLeah Boyle is a 42-year-old wife, mother, and daughter who convinced her parents to sell their family home and relocate near her, a few towns away, so they could help each other. Leah’s husband is an airline pilot, a career that often leaves her on her own to juggle life’s surprises, and her only sister lives out of state. She leans on her parents’ wisdom and occasional babysitting as much as they rely on her to fetch the mail when it’s icy.

Her 12-year-old son and twin 9-year-old daughters are involved in everything from student council to soccer, and while the kids’ lives appear to be speeding by, her parents’ are slowing down. Both her mom and dad are retired from lifelong careers in medicine, and they accept the physical limitations of growing older. But neither they nor Leah could have predicted the emotional roller coaster ride that poor health would bring.

BrightStar Care is honored to feature Leah’s personal story, experiences shared by many adult children as their parents grow older and caregiving roles begin to reverse. Follow Leah’s journey here.

All names, including the author’s, have been changed to protect identities, and Leah has no affiliation with BrightStar Care.

A Daughter’s Journey: Family First

My dad’s latest surgery went well: No uncontrolled bleeding. No sepsis. Doctors successfully removed the unknown mass in his chest, although preliminary pathology suggests it’s cancer that metastasized from his previous bout with liver cancer, caused by the hemochromatosis. He’s recuperating at home with my mom. He’s using a walker until he regains his strength, […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Always Go

          I barely remember my grandma’s funeral. I was five, and I’ve been told I drew some pretty pictures that were placed in her casket. I remember when she was sick, though. She and my aunt were on vacation when my grandma, my mom’s mom, had a stroke. It was a […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Circle of Friends

Call me lazy, but I’ve found most of my friends through proximity. As a kid, I rode bikes and ran through sprinklers with kids in my neighborhood. At school, my friends had similar interests, or at least similar last names: Our high school lockers were assigned alphabetically. In college, I became friends with girls living […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Still a Child

          Somewhere in the chaos of caring for my parents, raising my children, running my household, and working part-time, my body turned on me. Six months ago, I started feeling unusually tired. Mowing the lawn, which I used to tackle after my workout, left me napping on the couch. Pretty soon, […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Kid Talk

          I pride myself on being a strong, independent person, but I am flappable. I’ve been known to lose my cool—yell, swear, and occasionally throw things—but what stuns my kids the most is when I cry. As an airline pilot, my husband is on the road several days a week, and […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Perspective

          I get annoyed when people tell me to “keep things in perspective.” No matter the situation I find myself in, the truth is that someone on this planet always has it worse. And someone on this planet has it better. What’s “it”? Health. Money. Love. Happiness. It doesn’t really matter […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Moving On

          When my grandpa died a decade ago, he left behind a mess of an estate that took my dad longer than a year to resolve. The experience spurred my parents to reconsider their own state of affairs. I had been on their case to leave the house I grew up […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Helpless

          The ER doctor saved my dad’s life. When he found out that my dad had had an operation the week prior, he administered an intravenous course of antibiotics. A flurry of tests followed as the team stabilized his condition. Around 4 in the morning, they admitted him to a regular […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Second Surgery

          Here we go again: surgery. Doctors would remove the cancerous tumor in my dad’s liver. I met my mom in the hospital’s waiting room, an awkward place where TV talk shows are the only distraction from food smells and bits of conversation escaping each family’s cubicle. Every patient is assigned […]

A Daughter’s Journey: Lies We Tell Ourselves

          My parents have always maintained that if a doctor looks hard enough, she’ll find something. Given medical technology and education these days, I believe that’s probably true. But I also think we know when there’s really a problem—whether we admit it or not. Before my dad was diagnosed with CML, […]

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