Friday, August 12, 2011

Getting Older

I had the opportunity to talk to a dear friend this morning about their aging parent. Most of us have been there and those who haven't will be one day. Our parents, if still alive, are getting older. The ability to deal with an aging parent isn't easy and your duties may change from day to day. Some day you may be a caregiver, some days, you may be their child, sometimes, you will be their friend; the dynamics are constantly changing. We have to keep in mind that as our parents age, their health, their attitudes, and their feelings, may change. We are expected to be able to deal with all of those issues and it's hard to keep up with all of the changes.

I worked with a man years ago who made a statement I will never forget. He said that he was afraid of growing old and if he lived passed 75, he would commit suicide. I thought what he said was strange, but as I grow older I understand better what he was trying to convey. Now don't get me wrong, I have no intentions of ever killing myself, but the older I get, the more afraid I become of what my body will or won't do. What he said made me think. As a person ages they can become more and more cantankerous and we don't know from one day to the next what mood they will be in. Keep in mind they too may be afraid of what is happening to them. Their bodies are changing, their eye sight is probably changing. They may not be able to hear as well as they used to. Their words may not come out the way they want them to. They may be afraid of dying. I'm not talking about the fear of going to heaven or hell (that's a different subject) but the actual physicality of not being here. And because we never know when death will come, everyday to them, could be their last.

Most of us can't run out and obtain a college degree in how to deal with the aged, but we can imagine what we will feel like when we get to be our parent's age. Afterall, growing old is right around the corner for a lot of us and for some of us, it's on the same street.

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