Baby Boomers and Their Parents

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Annie, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I was very touched by Xeno's post about his dad and the calls we get regarding parents. My time at this has passed, but I thought I might share a bit with those that weren't here when I was going through similar.

    When my parents came to visit from FL for my youngest son's graduation from 8th grade, my mom broke her hip, which put them here for the duration, I felt so alone. I had too many friends and acquaintances tell me that I should put 'them' in a home. Well my dad was willing to go into a 'senior community', but not without my mom and she was too sick. He had the money to pay for the nurse, so that is what we did. For a year they lived with my brother, then when the hip broke again, they moved in here. That was in 1999. Until the fall of 2003, both of my parents, 3 kids, and a full-time nurse, along with myself lived in this 3 bedroom townhome. :eek:

    Well to be fair, years earlier, my parents had done mega parental duty with me. When my 3 kids were ages 6-9, I filed for divorce. My ex was problematic, enough so that the divorce was not finalized until the kids were 9-13. During most of that time, my ex 'gave me' $50 a month in child support. :eek: My parents paid the remainder of mortgage, food, clothing, tuition for the kids. He also exposed my kids to things children should never be exposed to, which resulted in one report of sexual precocity and a behavioral disorder referral. When school investigated, they reported to court and that child was put into gifted classes in public schools, though he was expelled from the private school he'd been attending.

    In the fall of 2003, my mom who'd had 2 major strokes; 1 before moving to FL and another here; just became too fragile to stay at home. Between her cognitive loss and osteoporosis, just too fragile. We had to put her in a nursing home. Being luckily 'connected', she went to a highly qualified facility that a friend of our family had donated the land and built. She had very good quality care, though she was not as happy as at home. My dad, who had good health, visited her twice a day. Between my brother, myself, our kids, our cousins and their kids, rarely was she not without family with her. Every Sunday, all of us that were around, (some of the kids were away at college), went with her to mass and then for breakfast at her 'home'. She died in the fall of 2004, surrounded by those who loved her-her husband, children, and all of her grandchildren.

    My dad really lost his life's partner, but did manage to carry on. I think he could see that she had suffered too long, knowing how much she'd lost. While he did get out with his friends while she lived here, he never went for more than 9 holes of golf, the longest he'd stay 'away.'

    After she died, he went back to 18 holes 3 times a week during decent weather, though he didn't start at the end of April and did not keep going until late October as when he was younger, he quit when the temps fell below 65. :lol: Pretty good for a guy in his 80's.

    Every Sunday he met for breakfast with his 10 closest friends and went out to a movie with a buddy for a movie every Wednesday. We took a couple vacations, the most memorable to the WWII memorial upon its completion, he'd earned a purple heart on June 6th, 1944. He made us laugh whenever he retold the tale of spending over $400 a night for a hotel room-we had to stay close to the mall, as he was in a wheelchair for sight seeing. Then when we went to check out, my nightly 2 glasses of Merlot and my brother's beer habit, increased the cost by $60 a night! We all agreed it was worth it. If you're ever flush and can get to DC, I highly recommend the Hay-Adams.

    He'd planned nearly all the details of his funeral, as he had my mom's. He so worried about me and my kids, mostly because between my mom's care and his the cost had pretty much wiped out their savings. He'd prepaid his funeral, even $1500 towards the 'luncheon'. :lol:

    In January, 2007 he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died in August. He was 86. Those months we all really bonded. He hated losing his hair. We hated when he refused radiation, when the chemo stopped working. He kept control to the very end, it wasn't cancer, but pneumonia that took him. He'd called my brother to see him in the hospital and told him that there was very little left, but what was there was 'Kathy's', my brother didn't have a problem with that. He got all the watches, coins, stamps, etc. He mostly divided those among the grandchildren, the same as we had my mom's jewelry a few years before. He didn't want to live longer than he could get out, which stopped a week before. I think seeing those years with my mom, convinced him that there came a point...

    His funeral, which he's planned, was awesome. Over 500 people came, nearly 300 to the church for the funeral mass. More than 250 for the luncheon, with another 6 people talking to the 'gathered' there, after 12 had spoken in the church. I still get calls from his friends, he is missed by more than family.

    While I'd always been close to my mom, she was so smart and so argumentative, because of the last few years, I really came to love more deeply and admire my dad. Perhaps because of the strokes, my mom was so sick for so long, my dad really reached out to me. We'd never been close, in fact there were years that I so disrespected him, but that changed. I miss him constantly.

    I can't pass an 'Outback' without thinking of him, not to mention a golf course. I laugh when I think of his last admittance to the hospital. He told me, "Shit Kath, if I'm lucky enough that God forgives me, I've got to face your mom. What the F is she going to do to me, when she found Mary Beth in heaven before her?" That was my sister, who was born with Down's and deaf. She'd died in 2005. We all had to get dressed and tell my mom we were going to a meeting. My dad didn't think she could take the news. He had coronary failure at her funeral. My kids and I returned home and told my mom that dad had to go to a meeting for a couple days.

    Oh the webs we weave.
     
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  2. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    I enjoyed your tale Annie, if that's the word; what a life your dad lived! He was active, alert, and cognizant to the very last it sounds like. Just today we brought my wife's dad from the nursing home for a small "family reunion" to one of our homes, and he really didn't know any of us who were there. He had perhaps one minute of remembrance as he sat with friendly "strangers" by the lake in his power chair. He did remember someone who wasn't there, who died 2 years ago, his wife of 60 years, asking: "has anyone seen Leeny"

    Looking across to the distant side he said: "See that hill over there? That's where I came down to the lake when I went fishing here". This was something that had happened 30 years back. Sure enough when we looked closely we could see there was a dock there where he'd launched his boat all those years ago.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Oh boy, do I relate! Yes, my dad kept his cognitive abilities to the end. My mom wasn't as lucky, thought she kept some, which is the bewitching difference between Alzeimer's, dementia, and strokes. Bad part is she 'knew' what she was missing. Good part was that she could make that clear, thus no excuses.

    In the last few years of course she was included in weddings, graduations, baby showers. At times she said some 'alarming things', LOL! My guess, her honesty overcame the weirdness of those events. Perchance even a dose of real, that we often cover up.
     
  4. DamnYankee
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    DamnYankee No Neg Policy

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    It was just me and Mom "forever". She had just turned 80 when she passed. Never needed to worry about her cognitive ability. Visited her, for a long weekend, when she was first hospitalized. While I was sitting with her on the first day, one of the doctors came in for his rounds, and quipped something about her condition and "for a woman in her eighties".

    "Just 80, thank you!" she fired back!
     
  5. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    The greatest generation is nearly gone now, just a fraction left still going.

    Before long they will pass into history, but while they are still here, I would like them to remain happy and as self reliant as possible.

    The greatest fear of many of them is being sent to a 'home' which a lot of them equate to a death house.

    They did everything for us, we owe them.

    Making them happy and taking care of them is something we should all do.
     
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  6. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    you are such a good and dear person!
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    My sentiments exactly! I know that I was blessed with very good parents, sounds like you were too!
     
  8. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    My dad is 66 and he called me this weekend to say he was upset with Obama and the Government for a couple things.

    1. They aren't giving cost of living increases to social security for the next few years?

    2. The investments my parents and grandparents live on is at 5% right now and soon its going to go down to 1%. How many seniors live on that interest? So many of them are going to have to tap into their savings rather than live off the interest. Thats a huge hit to millions of seniors.

    Find out if your seniors can confirm this.

    And if they have other savings options that pay better interest, please let me know.

    We can do better than this. And if Obama thinks he's going to win in 2012 by doing this? He'd better think again. These people vote.
     
  9. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    My parents are great too. Although in some ways they remind me of George Kastanza's parents on Seinfeld. :lol:
     

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