Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ramblin on Age

So many people my age are caretaking elderly parents.  I have my mother in law (neither of my parents lived to "old age") who we help out long distance.  (knock on wood, she is in relatively good health), my best friend has practically moved in with her 90 plus year old mother (another long distance situation), I have several other friends/acquaintances/co workers in the caretaking of parents situation.

I've also been blessed for the over 20 years we've lived in our house here in the Triple Cities to have the same couple living next door.  When we moved in, the man of the family was taking early retirement and the youngest son of his large family was getting close to college age.  They were enjoying life, their children and their grandchildren (I think they eventually had 23 grandchildren, unless I've lost count), had time for hobbies, their church, and more.

I've seen them age in the past 20 plus years and it hasn't always been a happy journey for them.

We spent some time with them today.  We don't see them as much as we should. I have to admit that sometimes it can be hard to see people that have been a caring part of our lives for so long...well, get old.  But that is no excuse.  They have been almost ideal neighbors.  Their youngest son and his family lived with them for a couple of years (while his wife battled cancer) and he in turn extended friendship to my son.  The son finally was able to buy a house locally and they are out.  My neighbors live alone with a housekeeper and, now, a cat. Both are now frail but still have a lot to offer.

I know my mother in law, who loves to be around people, can be lonely at times, too, because it is painful for her to drive and to get around.

I have to remind myself at times like these that I won't have these good people in my life forever.  And that, one day, I will be in their situation.  When that happens I so hope I will have loving people in my life.  Because old age can be a lonely, frustrating place.

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