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I am 63. My mom is 93. My dad lived to be 85.


I have no idea what age I would like to live to. Many thoughts run through my mind.


We adopted our first daughter at 33. I had a child at 40. I had fertility issues, then SURPRISE! We had another child. I was overjoyed. I like to say that we had one miracle through adoption, then one home grown miracle.


Many of my friends have grandchildren. I don’t. Oldest daughter is 30, single. Youngest daughter is 23, single. I don’t want them to get married or have kids just for me. I don’t believe in pressuring kids to do that. They deserve to live their life as they choose. I would adore grandchildren if it happens though. So, I guess I would like to live long enough for that if and when it happens.


Sometimes I think about will there be any time left for me after my mom dies?


Also, when I watch mom suffering with Parkinson’s I get really afraid and would rather die before that may happen.


I would like to be a happy, content old person with wisdom! Not a negative, miserable, foolish person. I would like to be grateful for any blessings in my life.


I don’t want to be a burden to my children or anyone else. I fear that the most. I fear losing control over my life. I am terrified of ALZ or dementia. I fear a horrible NH. Assisted living would be fine with me.


I have a low tolerance for pain so I hope that I can accept any discomfort with grace. I hope I don’t become grouchy or irritable. I hope I won’t become as impatient as some older people are, including my mom. In all fairness, maybe that is because they feel time is running out so quickly!


I hope I won’t be an elderly old woman who constantly says, “God willing!”


I hope I can travel some. Tell funny stories, remember beautiful times in my life, appreciate everyone around me, especially family.


I adore my husband, even after 40 years! I have no idea if I would want to outlive him. Yet, I would like to be there for him in his final hour. That’s a tough one, very tough.


Thanks for listening to me ramble on.

ruustyk,

It is a lot to think about. I get not wanting to stay in the cold climate! I’m a southern gal and anything below 70 is chilly to me! haha
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My Husband and I got married in our forties for the first time I am an only child at this point and my Husband's only Sibling is a career woman, will never have children. My Dad passed at 88 complications from Alzheimer's I moved my Mom to a nearby ALF three years ago she's 95 and actually doing pretty well determined to remain independent even though she is an Angel it has been quite the journey for me I'm 59 it really makes one think about one's twilight years. I am pretty active and hope to remain that way I have a Nephew who has a wonderful family but I don't really want to be a burden to him. Even though somewhat costly I have been thinking of down the road when needed looking into a CCRC preferably in a warmer climate I've lived outside of Chicago my whole life at least you can tour the facility from independent to Nursing care you would have an idea of what it would be like thru the many stages and like myself being childless I think like yourself a 55+ initially and then a CCRC. Just my thoughts hope this helps
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Golden,

Glad you donated to the museum. I just feel her story should be shared. Too much of history is lost.

I am hooked on the PBS show, History Detectives. The people who do that show feature interesting people like your mom and the topics are fascinating. They are incredible at researching historical records.
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NeedHelpWithMom -I don't have the diary. My sister does and the Center I mentioned. I have writings of family history that mother researched. She was the self appointed family archivist, if you like. No one in my or my kid's generation is interested in these writings. I am 81 and needing to down size. The information is available from where ever mother did the research. I had a one son and one cousin who were interested but both died. (unrelated). I have passed on some things of mother's to a museum. She was Norwegian and this museum collects artifacts. Fact is it is very difficult to find anywhere and anybody who wants this kind of stuff. I know when I die all of it will be thrown out as my kids don't want any of it.
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I’ve thought about this question since reading. I’m not sure what I think or want. Both of my parents are deceased and my husband of 38 years died last year. I have a younger sister who is married with three young sons. My husband and I did not have children.

I don’t care to live to a very old age. I think it would be very lonely without a partner. Right now I have friends and acquaintances. I have activities that I enjoy. I still have the accounting business that my husband and I started. I work full-time and stay very busy. Especially with tax season starting. Despite all that I do, I still miss my husband very much. I have periods of intense grief and loneliness.

I try very hard not to interfere with my sisters life. She and her husband actively try to include me, but sometimes it’s their interests, not mine which is normal.

I hope in my very elder years that my health isn’t too disabling. I hope that I can remain upbeat and pleasant to be around - someone that others want to be around.
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Oh Golden,

Hold onto that diary. I get that it’s complicated with your sister.

Thanks for the link. I can’t wait to look it up.
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NeedHelpWithMom - thx I have thought about it over the years, but knew I could not write anything till, she had passed. Also my sis, who was the golden child, and participated if not provoked much of the abuse I got, is still alive. I don't know that it would be wise to release a book which revealed her and mother in the light of my experience with them. In any case, right now I am overwhelmed with estate matters.

Mother kept a diary of her time in Haiti, I believe it is housed in Edinburgh, in the Center for Study of Christianity in the Western World.. Here is a link to a description. Mother worked with the Sisters of St Margaret (Angiclan) in Haiti.
https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/1f720358-0dbe-3520-b29f-c373199c8d8f Mother was RW.
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Ann,

Doesn't sound flippant but does sound fabulous! Your grandchildren are blessed to have a grandma who loves them so much.
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I hope this doesn’t sound flippant, but I’ll want to be here as long as I can play my tuba and my trombone.
My grandchildren look forward to seeing me and I look forward to teaching them to play. As long as I have something to look forward to in the morning and I can be useful and entertaining to those babies, I’ll continue to be eager to stick around.
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Wow, Golden!

Would you please write a book about your mother? I bet it would top a bestseller list! I’d buy it for sure. She sounds like a fascinating woman. Come on, I know you saw her dark side, but you must admit that she was indeed a very, creative, intelligent and fascinating woman who was probably years ahead of her time too!
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Yes I have seem that movie. Russell Crowe was great in it.. Mother, who went back to work when she was about 50 had run ins in several jobs till she realized she has to rein herself in if she wanted to keep a job, which she did for the last one she had. She also had run ins during her volunteer work,.She could be very entertaining and charming and some people only saw that side of her, but those of us who were closer to her knew her darker side. Nonetheless she accomplished some things of great value.

Mother was very political.Once she was hospitalized for electrolyte imbalance and was furious for, age 96, being put in the geriatric ward, and that someone came to talk to her about moving into a senior facility. So she spun the story that she had been "kidnapped" by the hospital, wrote several letters and received an apology from the Provincial Minister of Health. I saw it! I figure he must have had a codependent relationship with his mother to fall for that.
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Golden,

Thanks for sharing that story. I’m always fascinated with lifestyles. Your mom sounds like she was a fascinating person in spite of the mental illness.

You are right, mental illnesses do not necessarily interfere with accomplishing goals.

Did you see that movie, true story, A Beautiful Mind? Was a fabulous movie. It was directed by Ron Howard, about John Nash, Jr. who was a mathematician. He was a genius! He had schizophrenia. Russell Crowe was fantastic as John Nash. Nash ending up being awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
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Thanks Jane, will look into it.
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This is a great question. Oddly enough, this article just popped up on my search engine feed. I'm not sure exactly what I think about it. I do appreciate that the author isn't talking about assisted suicide or euthanasia, but rather in thinking carefully about what he wants for the end of his life and making those expectations clear to his family. I know there are many on this forum who think about these issues very deeply -this is good food for more thought:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-i-hope-to-die-at-75

Jane
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NeedHelpWithMom - thanks. My story about my mother is not like your story.. Mother had a serious mental illness - Borderline Personality Disorder and narcissism. Nonetheless she managed to accomplish a lot in her life, having been awarded an Honorary PhD for her volunteer work In Haiti with crippled children and other health concerns. She was a physiotherapist, a very bright person, very well read, and traveled. She went to Haiti for 6 months of the year from when she was about 66 to 83, and stayed there during a government overthrow . Letters home said that she could not use her balcony as cannons were being fire. She was ousted from her guesthouse in her night clothes late at night as the soldiers wanted it for their use. The government (Canadian) recommended that all Canadians return home. Her answer was that the soldiers were not interested in an old woman like her, she was more afraid of the cockroaches as they didn't care how old you were. She was a very difficult person to have as a mother, but did do some things I admire.
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golden,

I love your attitude. You are not an old sourpuss! Wow, 106 for your mom. Can you tell us what she was like please? My husband’s great grandmother was just shy of 102. She was precious! Had 12 children, farm family, a couple of miscarriages in between.

Named all all of her kids after favorite characters in books. When did she have time to read with 12 kids???

Didn’t even take meds except for aspirin if she had a headache. She was a Cajun lady who spoke French.

For her 100th birthday party, she danced! We hired a band to play. Her picture was in the local paper. She was so cute! She knew everyone. We had trivia, such as, “What came first, granny or the invention of the zipper?” Granny did! She had a great time! She barely stood 5 feet tall and barely 100 lbs. She was fiesty. She loved to cook and only stopped when her daughter no longer wanted her lifting the heavy pots. She got upset only helping out. She adored cooking a huge meal!
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At 81 I am an old person, but other than the increased aches and pains etc I don't feel it, I don't think I have changed a lot except for having learnt more about life and having grown from my experiences. I think I am a better friend, a better partner, a better mother and grandmother. I am less active than I was, for sure, but am still interested in many things. I try to focus on the blessings I have. which are many.

I don't have an aspiration to live to a particular age. Mother just passed in December aged 106. She was active till she was 100. I don't mind how long I live if I can be somewhat active and healthy. But we aren't in control of all of that. It is what it is and we have to deal with it -hopefully with some grace.
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Riverdale,

I too have thought of dying in my sleep. My painter did that. He was a fantastic painter. My husband is a meticulous painter (meticulous with everything, an engineer) but he didn’t want to paint the living room walls. The ceiling is so high.

This guy was a perfectionist like my husband. He worked alone. No one worked up to his standards. Climbed his high ladder to paint. Played his radio and just an all around pleasant guy who loved his family, friends and work. He took great pride in his work.

I recommended him to many friends and everyone adored him. He asked several times me if he could use me as a reference and I always told him, absolutely!

My friend called him back to do to another job because she was so pleased with the first one. His wife (a teacher) answered, saying that he had fallen off a ladder at work. Thought he was fine, went to bed, never woke up. He died in his sleep. Was a shock to everyone. So upsetting. He was a father to two beautiful young girls. He was serious about his work but when he’d vacation he would rent an RV and travel everywhere. He had a great balance in life.

I’m sure he thought he’d live past his 40’s. He died young. Haha, remember when we thought 30 was old?
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Ginger,

I love your answer. Bet you already are a good listener.
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Riverdale,

Thanks so very much for sharing with me how you feel and reading my post. I get terribly lonely being so isolated as a caregiver. Can I add to my list? I’d like to enjoy my friends again. And how could I forget to say the most important thing. I hope I never forget what love is.

Know what you mean about religion, I grew up Catholic. There are many beautiful beliefs in the Catholic church but it’s also a rigid religion as yours was. I believe in God. I respect all faiths or no faith.
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I want to be an old person who appreciates what she has, be a better listener than a talker, and to keep focus on the self-care practices that sustain me. I want to keep my faith. My parents are both in their early 80's so I might have a decent chance of reaching the age of 83 which sounds fine to me. I would prefer to leave this world after my darling husband so I can take of him. I am a better planner and more realistic about end of life planning. I know we don't get to choose any of this.
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I would only want to live to the point where there is some quality to my life. My mother has incontinence issues, the start of macular degeneration, had a ischemic stroke that is causing memory issues, has serious dental issues that cannot really be fixed given all her other issues. She did not live a life that might have prevented some of this. She is overweight. She practiced Christian Science thus avoiding medical care for years. I abhor that religion since I was never given medication growing up I suffered through ailments as they arose. I also watched my mother trying to heal herself only to have to resort to surgery for 2 hip replacements and one knee replacement when she became basically immobile.


Now my mother takes all sorts of medications because she knows it is keeping her alive. I really would prefer not to live with the growing ailments she has. I presently am more proactive with my health.

I have presently have 3 grandchildren from 2 of my 3 children. Hopefully there may be a few more. I don't want to live with my children but would like to be in close proximity to at least one. They will never live near each other due to their work situations.

I would really like to die in my sleep but that seems unlikely these days giving all that is done to keep one alive despite the quality of life. I also wish my mother could pass that way. My father's passing at 82 was painful to be witness to. He died from MRSA contracted after open heart surgery. He also was not proactive with his health.

It is hard to imagine a life without my husband. He is 6 years older than me and has more ailments.

You pose an interesting question. I don't fear death. I do fear possible endless suffering and being incapacitated.
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