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September 2, 2014

Watching Loved One's Age


This month my father will celebrate his 83rd birthday. It’s hard to believe that’s he’s that age and I still remember him as a young man working hard to earn a living for his family. My mother is 78 and she still gets around really well, but my father is starting to struggle.
Aging is just part of life’s journey and I know that eventually we all die, but until the last five years I never realized how difficult the journey could be. Unfortunately, I fear that I haven’t seen the worst yet and know that eventually there will be a time when my family members will be gone.
In the last five years, we’ve lost my husband’s mother, my grandmother, my aunt and an uncle. And I know that this is just the beginning. All my family is aging and for that matter, so am I.
Before my mother-in-law died at the age of 88, she told me she was ready to go because all of her friends had passed on. She said you reach a time when you no longer have funerals to attend and you’re the only one left. That statement has stayed with me and I know that there could come a day when that will be the case with me.
At first this really bothered me, but the logical part of me says that this is just part of life. This journey we call everyday living will someday come to an end. The optimistic side of me says that’s why we’re to love each other and enjoy our time together. Live each day to the fullest.
Right now my father is in a nursing home and I have to say that while it may seem depressing at first, I have had many a laugh there. The residents are upbeat and happy and well, bless their hearts some of them have returned to their youth and are like children without a care in the world.
In the fiction world, we seldom see older women romances, which is a darn shame since the population is aging. I have one book that is about an older heroine – The Christmas Bride and I have another one that I've never published that has an older heroine that I hope to have out next year.
Aging is part of life. And there is no stopping the clock. At this point in my life I don’t want to be seen as old, but rather a mature woman who still acts young at heart. But there will come a day when I’m an old woman who wrote romances for a living and had a darn good time doing it. Young people will whisper and say…”Do you think she did that stuff she wrote about?”
I plan on smiling and not saying a word. Let them wonder. 

How do you handle watching your family member’s age? Seeing them struggle walking up steps and having to use a cane?

Visit my website at www.sylviamcdaniel.com or my facebook page or follow me on twitter at @SylviaJMcDaniel. Drama, Divas, Bad Boys and Romance!

15 comments:

vicki batman said...

Hi, Sylvia! Aging isn't easy for our parents. I really dislike seeing mine using a cane and a walker. Not going anywhere. Little stimulation. You are right--live life to its fullest. Sending mega hugs

chris keniston said...

Wonderful post Sylvia

many many years ago an aging friend told me to always have a few friends younger than you - great advice. The trick is keep making new friends your whole life long.

Watching our parents age is so much like watching a child grow. The changes from one day to the next can be astonishing. All I can do is be thankful for every new day.

And while I don't have older heroines, my newest release (that just happens to be on sale this week for only 99 cents) Shell Game, has a feisty grandmother who finds love, and one of my favorite scenes is when the granddaughter figures it out !!

Kathy Ivan said...

Good morning, Sylvia. You are so right, watching the ones you love start slowing down because of getting older can really tear at your heart. The once vibrant person you remember struggles and makes you wonder where the years went. But all we can do is love them and support them, and be there for every single moment we can, storing up the memories so that the good times always outweigh their moments of weakness.

Having lost my mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins along the way, I fully understand what you are going through and send you my warmest thoughts and prayers. Always remember you can lean on y our friends when things get too much. That's what helps you get through.

Linda Steinberg said...

I like Chris's advice about making younger friends. In fact, after thinking about it, I realized ALL my close friends are younger than me.

I was in my fifties before attending my first funeral, my mother's. Within twelve years I buried my husband and my father. As the matriarch of my small family, I hope and pray that I will never again attend a family funeral.

My father always said, "it's later than you think." Don't procrastinate the good stuff. We don't know how long we are going to live but one thing we know for sure is that our health is not going to get Better.

So go for it, friends! If you wait until you can afford that trip, that restaurant, that float down white water, it may never happen. Thanks, Sylvia for a thoughtful and life-affirming post.

Angela Adams said...

Touching post, Sylvia. Thank you for sharing.

Lani said...

I lost my mom two years ago, and I have to admit of my friends who are her close to her age, I often feel the need to hug them more. Aging is not easy, no. But I do love the advice of a romance with a heroine that isn't in her twenties--yay!--and to live life to its fullest!

Liz Lipperman said...

Sending hugs to help you get through this, Sylvia. I remember watching my mother die of Alzheimers. I prayed for God to take her than was mad when he did. I guess we just have to rely on our friends to pick us up when we are so down about this.

Elizabeth Essex said...

Beautiful post, Sylvia. Such heartfelt sentiments.

Let's keep taking acre of each other, shall we? :)

Sylvia said...

Hi all, thank you for your comments. I'm sorry I've not been able to respond to each and every one of them. Currently, we've moved them into the retirement center, but there is 59 years of assorted household goods that we are trying to sort through and get ready for a garage sale this weekend. So my dear sweet husband looked at what my mother was dealing with this weekend and said you need to stay another week. So I'm still here in San Angelo. Right this moment I'm at the nursing home visiting my father for a few moments before we go back out to the country where the internet has been disconnected. So the only way you can reach me is by my cell phone except for this time of day when we come to visit Dad. Hope to be home either Sunday or Monday. Until then keep smiling, loving one another and remember to make the most of each day.

Liese said...

Sylvia:
Yes, you have to enjoy the time you have with your parents. Bless you and your family.

Liese

Karilyn Bentley said...

Great post, Sylvia! It's hard to watch my dad age too. Like yours he's going down and my mom is doing okay, health-wise. Difficult to watch. But your good memories will outweigh the bad ones. Sending you many hugs.

Kait said...

This is lovely. I lost my parents a number of years ago. I was a late baby, and my father was 91 when he died. Hale and hearty and ready for new adventure almost to the end. He faded quickly the last three months of his life. I still remember him looking at me and asking, "Why is it you think I'm old? Everyone else thinks I'm young." I tried to explain as my father, he was old to me by definition on the day I was born. His response, "I don't feel I'm any older than 21, and I look that way too." Now that I am older, I know what he means. But that lady in the mirror I see when I'm not expecting her, she better get with the program!

pastprimetravelers said...

Sylvia, your post brought many memories flooding back. It is too true that what we watched will someday be happening to us. I can only hope I will be as fulfilled as my loved ones have been.

Anna Gibson said...

Hi Sylvia. It's hard to watch them age. My mom passed at age 47 but she was sick for most of her life. My grandmother just turned 83 and is starting to have problems with her memory and other things and it's kinda scary to see. My grandmother and I are very close and I am dreading to see the time when she is no longer with us

Jean Maurie said...

I enjoyed this. I'm one of the older ones and doing well. It brought up some emotional feelings though, which is the sign of a good writer.

Jean