January 09, 2014

Great Genes After Another Year

Mom turned 101 yrs old last week. I went to visit, but we didn't celebrate with a big party, as we did last year. I made chocolate cupcakes, so the leftovers could be frozen and frosted and parceled out over time. She said she was glad to see me, and asked how long I was staying, then declined to talk to me again for the remainder of my visit.

Since last year, my aunt, who had been in the independent living "tower" of her retirement community, has been moved into the care home there, because she can no longer stand and walk. All her furniture and most of her possessions beyond clothing have been put into storage. She has some books, some pictures, a rosary, and a few blankets. The home provides a television and a roommate, and Brother provided a cell phone.

My comments from last year still apply.

January 17, 2013

Great Genes!

Aunt Etta lived to the ripe old age of 101. Her niece, my Mom, has reached 100. In some ways, I'm proud of this remarkable achievement. Mom is strong, tenacious, and righteous. And ornery. She has a loyal circle of friends, who admittedly come around less often, now that she is bedridden and sleeps more. On the other hand, she is definitely dependent, and her care is expensive.

It's sobering to see how my family is aging. Cousins in my dad's generation are becoming frail and dependent. I'm sure every child generation eventually comes to this place, where the realities of aging land like a ton of cement as the aches, pains and stiffnesses begin to affect their own mobility and quality of life.

No one wants to be a burden; but in my case, the retirement age and the age at which I can begin to collect Social Security keep getting raised - I may actually need to work till I'm 90, as I have joked for years. In my youth, the retirement age was 55. Now it's approaching 70. I suppose that means I'll have a longer time to accumulate retirement savings, downsize the dwelling, and prepare for assisted living, but I feel like I'm chasing a rainbow.