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I Love Life

I Love Life
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Missouri,
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June 28
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I love learning and am constantly delighted when that happens. There is so much I want to know and experience.

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Salon.com
JANUARY 18, 2012 8:10AM

My Parents Are Old

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It dawned on me awhile ago, but I am seeing it more and more how my parents are truly almost old. I say "almost" because I'm not quite ready to actually claim that they are old or elderly, even though they are 76 years of age.

On one hand, they don't act their age considering most of their peers aren't working out at the local gym three times a week, wearing younger style clothes, and keeping up with the current news while sipping on their daily 5:00 P.M. cocktail hour martinis. If you happen to be over around that time of the day, you'll also be included in their one or two rounds of drinks. 

As a matter of fact, they don't even look their ages for the most part. People outside of the family usually guess them about 10 years younger which delights them to no end. Mom's skin shows some wear and tear with her dry skin, scattered wrinkles, and occasional sunspots masked ever so slightly with cover up cream. The blue eyeshadow on her already blue eyes and her pink lipstick smile make you forget that she truly is a senior citizen. While Dad's oily skin displays no wrinkles or creases, his increased instances of forgetfulness and propensity to repeat the same story over and over betrays his younger looking face and six foot tall thin physique. Over the past year, I have also noticed a look upon his face, here and there,  that one notices on the elderly when they are confused or lost in reverie. It is the exact opposite kind of look that my younger father used to possess....the one that could bring me to tears because of its sternness.

What made me think about my parents and how they really are "getting" old? We all attended a wake service for a mutual acquaintance the other night. Not only was the dead woman lying in the coffin close to my parents' age, my parents were the oldest couple among the other visitors paying their last respect. As I made my round of polite visits with loved ones, I witnessed my Dad simply sitting in a chair lost in his own thoughts, although surrounded by people.  My Mom standing nearby, looked thinner than I've noticed before. Her shoulders and bust area are becoming less prominent compared to when she was younger....and not even that much younger.

As I left the place, it dawned on me that my parents really are old and that they're not going to be around forever like I once thought.


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I love to write, but I work at it. Unfortunately, since it takes me time to compose, I haven't been writing lately simply because I've been doing other stuff (like preparing to start a new business along with my other daily activities.) I hope you enjoy, in a sad sort of way, this post. I'm sure most of you can relate to it. :(
Also, I go back and forth concerning the idea of journalling on Open Salon? Why would I do that? Simply to keep me writing when I don't have anything to post. Please let me know what you think. Is it a good idea or not?
My mom is 82, and she also says things over and over. I don't care. I'll listen as long as she talks. It would break my heart to lose here.
Getting old is part of life. Nothin' to do about it, except get better bras, a good haircut and keep busy. My parents lived a very long time. Dad was 101+ when he rounded third for the last time.

I am close to your parents age .....not young anymore. My life hasn't changed very much in the past decade, except for one very noticeable thing....our kids are getting old :)......
Mine are 80 and my Dad will be moved into a dementia care facility in about a week. It will be a relief for Mom, and will allow her to do some things she hasn't been able to do for a while. It has not be a pleasant or simple ride. Best of luck to you.
Welcome to the Aging Parents Club. Most of us, if we are lucky, get to be in it. The alternative is worse. My mother is in her tenth year of dementia, in some kind of blissful state none of the rest of us can understand, but she is happy and still knows she is loved, not sure if she knows who we are on most days. Should she still be here? I don't know and it isn't my choice. We all just do the best we can. Good luck!
Enjoy them while you can, and also realize that soon they will be you! I went through the same feelings some time ago. Now I only have my Mom who is very elderly, and I realize I am my father, not that long ago!
Nice little 'journal entry' Patricia. Compact, to the point, and poignant.
Why not, is what I say to your second comment..
It's exactly how I use my blog, although I've kind of stopped doing the angsty things, leaning more towards the humorous. Still, it's a journal as such, that someday I may want to look back upon to see where my head was at on those days that I wrote. May be a comfort to me, or to my son when I am too old to remember, you know.
My mom is 73 and her hubby will be 81 this coming March. They're still alive and kicking; though nobody knows exactly how many years they'll be living independently, their presence in our lives touches us deeply.
As to your questions. Do what you wish where you want and with respects to journaling or blogging, writing is my saving grace. Not being able to write beautifully is an ascension where mindful words evolve into memorable masterpieces.
My parents lived to be 91 and 92. They had lived so long, that in some strange way, I thought they would live forever. My dad went suddenly, after a normal day in which he had gassed up the car, checked his email, and called his sister. For the next three years, I helped my mother, who was frail, legally blind, and who had a stroke, but continued to live in her independent living apartment. Those 3 years were a gift, time that brought us closer than we had ever been. It really is something of a shock when we realize that our parents are old. I wish I had taken more time to be with them than I did.
My parents were only 60 and 63 when they died. Cancer. Be thankful you get to see your parents grow....old...up...onto new phases. Todays' mom's birthday - she'd be 90 and hating every minute of it.
My mom is 82 and has Alzheimers,and I had to move her into a nursing home last May. My Dad is a few years younger, long remarried and in better health. Why not journal on OS? If it helps you, do it.
I can't express enough thanks to all of you for reading and commenting....even though I don't get on Open Salon as much as I used to. I love the advice you left me and it's so comforting knowing that I'm not alone. I love you all!
Hi Patricia,
You see, you're not alone. It's better to realize our parents' aging and mortality so that we can appreciate them while they are alive, even though it does come with some heart ache when they lose their faculties and are no longer the towers of strength as we saw them. It's also worthwhile to write about your feelings in accepting and coming to terms with them for your posterity. If you need feedback and conversation, Open Salon seems about the right place. Best wishes. ♥
that's how it goes. ain't none of us gettin' out of here alive. the question is more about suffering than anything else, and how the "kids" take it.

take a look at the piece about Gingrich and more importantly his wife in the weeks. New Yorker. Lots for u to think about. Writing is about becoming bigger but a business can do that too. u gotta pick momma-san.
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♥╚═══╝╚╝╚╝╚═══╩═══╝─╚ For thinking about your parents in such a thoughtful way.
You are a fine soul, Patricia, and I know you will cope just great. It is always good to read you. R
Patricia, I feel the same way. Each day that I see my Mom I notice the changes that are slowly occuring physically and mentally to her. I see her frustrations as she doesn't want to feel older and wants the same energy and drive that she had years past, but is unable to now. As I reflect back she was so energetic, vibrant and was always enjoying life to its fullest and my siblings and I; now her added grand children and great grandchildren.

One thing that has not changed however is that she still has the loving, caring and healing touch of her hand, her mouth still speaks words of wisdom that will never be forgotten and no matter how much her physical appearance has changed, she still has that sparkle in her eye that reminds you she's still Mom; these are the things that I will forever cherish! Thanks for this post Patricia...as always!
Short one, "new OS friend":

As a by-now two-years Official Octogenarian, wanted to ?greet you on the other side of the age and generation ?divide? Gap?

Looking forward to "getting to know you better" as [unmeasured? incalculable?] "time goes on".

'Tis a treat to find you and your posts. My fondest regards to your parents! ;-)