On Aging

Aging is not for the faint of heart!

I had a long goodbye with my mom.  She suffered from Lewy Body Dementia, the same illness that Robin Williams had.  I had to be the one to tell her that we were putting her in an assisted living facility.  I always get the dirty work.  My husband sat on the floor beside her chair while my stepdad and I loaded the car with her clothes and other personal items.

It was a bad day, and I still remember her tears. She told my husband that she knew this was coming and that she was not going to make us feel guilty.  And then she forgot.

Boy, did she make me feel guilty.

When I would visit her, her complaint was that she didn’t want to be around all those old people.  They had a few “screamers” and a few dirty old men.  One man asked me what I would do if he slapped me on the fanny.  Another patient, just 58 years old, said, “You better not!  You will be behind plexiglass, if you mess with her!”

You get to know people when you visit loved ones in assisted living.

Now my mom doesn’t have to look at them anymore, but I’m feeling like I need to go back.  I held their hands and told them my worn out jokes for 2 years! They always laughed at my jokes, because they couldn’t remember hearing them before.  It’s a great gig!

Well, aging takes courage.  There are indignities.  One of my favorite books is Tuesdays with Morrie. It takes guts to face what life throws at us.

But the alternative…well, I choose life.


2 comments on “On Aging”

  1. I cared for my brother for 2 years before putting him in a nursing home. It was sad to take him to the nursing home, I felt guilty then, I feel guilty now. The sorrow of watching someone you love so much fade in to the world of dementia breaks your heart. I visit my brother I interact with others at the nursing home and I wish I could back up 20 years to happier times.

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