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There is something about caregiving that leads one to reflect upon one's own legacy in thinking about the legacy of our aging loved one.

There seems to only be three general paths that a person's legacy goes in.

1. A life well lived with few regrets and a sense of contributing something to society.

2. A long list of regrets and a whole lot of despair.

3. Not enough self-awareness to be able to really reflect much about one's life as a whole.

If we find ourselves with a long list of regrets with a lot of despair, are there some changes that we could make in the years that we have left to help us have a little more contentment, sense of purpose and that our life has meant something as we age ourselves?

This is not an easy question to deal with at all.

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cmagnum, the one legacy I do like is the one about leaving an inheritance and/or leaving money to an institution like a school or a hospital. It's just a decision as to what place would one's money do the most good. Oh how I wished I had billions to leave to a hospital to build a wing.
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freqflyer, there are no easy answers for tragic plights such as yours. I hope and pray that some door of opportunity opens up for you so that the present despair will not swallow up the legacy of your entire life as a whole. Truly, life is a battlefield!

Along with doing the best you can concerning the care of your parents, you are doing good, helpful work online here on AC being supportive and helpful of other caregivers. That is something and a very important something to feel good about yourself for.

Take care of yourself.

Here are some more of my reflection about leaving one's legacy.

There are several ways to leave one's legacy.

1. The most obvious way is leaving an inheritance and/or leaving money to an institution like a school or a hospital.

2. Another way is to work on our family tree; write up a summary of our personal history; and/or write about our family's history.

3. The most basic way that we leaves our legacy are the memories we give to others everyday – of who we are and what mattered to us.

4. A final way to leave one's legacy is how we prepare for getting older. As we reflect upon our journey in life as a whole, do we have an overall sense of contentment of a life well lived with few regrets; wisdom learned from our mistakes; and meaning because of having contributed something to others either as individuals and/or society at large?

If after many years of living, one finds themselves with a very long list of regrets and despair instead of contentment and meaning, then what needs to change before one reaches the end of the road?

The first way while the most obvious is not always possible to be done.

The second can only be done to a limited degree unless one has a lot of time, good health and energy to do.

The third and fourth ways are extremely valuable and very long lasting! They can and are done by everyone.
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Good question, cmagnum. I know I had started out with #1, a life well lived with few regrets.... but when it came time to think about retiring and doing all the fun things I wanted to do, it quickly became #2 a long list of regrets because my parents have put up mega speed bumps toward my retirement, the road to retirement is now sprouting up weeds, and is crumbling :(
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