"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Monday, February 13, 2006

Aging, not much fun

I’m quite tired.  I made a 4 day trip to the West Coast to see my ailing father and my equally ailing mother.  They live safely with my responsible, eldest sister and her husband.  They are very blest that they’re not forced to be in a nursing home; I hope they never will be.  But who knows what the future holds.

Now the dirty deed stretches before us.  It is no longer safe for my father to drive; my mother gave up driving a couple of years ago.  Their neighborhood is dependent for access and egress upon a very dangerous boulevard that hides oncoming traffic in both directions.  They have a car; their memories are very poor and sooner or later they’re going to go to the store in their car if nobody is watching or if nothing is done.  We the children have painfully decided that we have to take away their car, for their sakes and for others sakes.  You don’t want to take away your parent’s car; that permanently drives a stake into the heart of their “independence.”  Who wants to take away their parent’s independence.  No one.   But we fear the time is upon us.   So in the near future my youngest sister and her husband will drive into town, talk to the parents and take their car away.  We’ll promise that if Dad gets better, we’ll make sure they have “wheels.”  The doctor’s say he won’t get better.

I’m pretty sure Dad isn’t all that excited about driving anymore but he’s been driving for almost 70 years.  It is a part of who he is and we’re about to take that away from him.  His passion for decades has been exploring the countryside in his car with his wife at his side.  I believe they’ve been on every road in California.  He’s got the pictures but no longer remembers much of the stories.  Now he’ll be dependent upon us to tour the countryside and he no longer wants to travel to far from home.

Aging; it’s not too much fun is it.

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