Semi-emotional alert. I say “semi” because some of this is simply recognition of our aging and some is more difficult. When I wrote, “Your Room at the End: Thoughts About Aging We’d Rather Avoid”, (Charlie Hudson’s Books) I did sequence it to where the most intense part was upfront as the whole idea was to deal with those things first. Part II is lighter in general. A conversation the other day with five or six of us discussing upcoming birthdays is part of what keyed this post. We all have various issues although we are also in pretty good shape. One unfortunately is going through a terrible bout of arthritis and they are working a treatment plan for her. We all of course can’t do the kinds of things we were able to 20 years ago and except for one of us, we take at least a couple of regular medications. Joints are stiff and so forth.
One husband passed away not long ago; not unexpected considering overall health issues, but there was not lingering illness and most of the family was able to gather in order to say good-bye. There will be a memorial at some point and will no doubt include many stories of what was a life well-lived.
A couple of other friends have moved away to be closer to adult children understanding the time will come when proximity will be better for everyone. We miss them while recognizing the practicality of the decision. One, not involved in this particular discussion, recently did the opposite of relocating an older parent and that has come with some “bumps along the road”. It does seem to be stabilizing though.
For other friends, there are some “routine” things they once took for granted and can no longer do. This is tougher and it’s rarely easy to adjust to. The phrase, “Growing older isn’t for sissies”, exists for a reason.