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Old 03-25-2016, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,765,866 times
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I was thinking, marriage vows say "until death us do part." But does it really? We plan that way but often for many of us that doesn't happen. At age 20, I thought it would be true when I married my ex, I suppose he thought so too. But it didn't turn out that way. So I suppose in a sense when we do stay with someone for a long time we don't think about the the possibility of their not being there with us at some point.

For me, I found myself alone at age age 30. That's far from age 70, the age I am today and it wasn't because of death but I was still alone and I had to build a different life for myself. So even at a young age maybe we should start thinking about the fact that nothing lasts forever; not spouses, not friends, pretty much not anything.

That may sound depressing but really it isn't. It's just another way to plan for the future. We know we are definitely going to spend our old age with ourselves, no choice about that so maybe thinking ahead about who else we will be able to spend it with and what the alternatives are isn't such a bad idea.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:09 PM
 
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I'm sorry for your losses, kudzu. I'm only 40 so what do I know about anything? (Not much!) But I have watched a lot of older people do some pretty incredible things later in life. It's almost as if they get a sudden burst of youth, a last hoorah before they close the book.

Maybe my husband and I have a bit of a morbid mindset, but we talk about what we would do if something happened to one of us and we ended up alone... of course we also talk about plans for us together, too. If I were to end up alone, because I didn't have my husband with me, I've decided I am going to adopt a big wonderful dog, probably a Newfoundland. And that's it. Just go on walks and hikes and live out my days with my wonderful dog. My husband has said he'd never remarry because it's too expensive and women are too much trouble (ha!) but he would hire a maid and eat out a lot more.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Leaving fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada
3,864 posts, read 6,897,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
augiedogie, I too wasn't to express my condolences to and for you and your wife. That has to be tough. I agree with photobuff42. Plan day outings to interesting and scenic places - they do have those in Texas, right? - and even just a nice drive together can be therapeutic for both of you.

In the last four years my wife and I have both been hit with medical/physical/neurological setbacks which have seriously degraded our mobility but jumping in the car and taking a drive though the beauty of the Ozarks going to places we've yet to visit brings us peace and joy and draws us ever closer together.

Eight months ago my wife left me and returned to California from, whence we came. The rigors of years of being her fulltime caregiver with little respite had left me sleep-deprived, emotionally exhausted and less than pleasant to be around. She wanted to return to where her children and grandchildren lived and thought that might be the ticket to her happiness. A month and a half later she called me in tears saying she loved and missed me and wanted to return home.

I sat on the premise for at least a month for her to make sure that's what she wanted and I wanted as well. We talked daily, some days several times, hammering out what would be different if she returned for both our benefits and needs. I then flew out to CA and drove her back. She's now been here for about four and a half months and while adjustment is an ongoing process, all signs point to the fact that we will be spending our old age(s) together. She's 67˝ and I'll be 70 in a few months. The only question is just how old we'll get together.

I don't believe for a minute that love is age specific or that at a certain age it can no longer happen. It has to do with people, not a ticking, chronological clock.
I have to spread reputation around before giving it to Curmudgeon again, but this is a beautiful post!
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:14 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,775 posts, read 40,206,956 times
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Spouse an I are both on borrowed time at age pre-60.

I purposefully took a yr off so we could do a round-the-world trip while were are still willing and able. It too has been a challenge and is showing evidence that we will be caring for each other sooner than later. After 32 yrs of HC for sick parents, it will be round 2. It will pass.
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:23 PM
 
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Relationships are fragile. One might be earnestly convinced that all is fine, pleasant, imperturbable. And then suddenly comes a shocking rift. There's seemingly an epidemic of longstanding marriages ending. But some people would opine that it's better to exit from an unappealing relationship than to abide it. There is no optimal solution. There is only acknowledgement of the fragility of it all.

Here's with condolences and sympathy to those who've lost partners for whatever reason, or whose partners are in dire situations of lost health. The OP's vignette is poignant. I'm an avowedly secular person, and don't believe in an "afterlife". But if there were such a thing, here's wishing that the OP's in-laws could be reunited in such a place, a place where there is no divorce, and where we finally acquire the wisdom that so eluded us in temporal life: the wisdom to realize that no conflict is so great as to be unsolvable… until we run out of time, and fragility overtakes us.
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,131 posts, read 8,199,341 times
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As has been pointed out, none of us knows how long we will live. We sort of have to assume we will wake up tomorrow, and carry on from there. Failure to assume further years of life is inviting disaster. It may not happen, but what if it does?

I never met a sadder person than one who's just sitting around, waiting to die. But what if the angels do not appear on our schedules? Many times in life, there are people of all ages who have failed to prepare for life. This becomes especially serious when the unprepared person is of an age when further life is not a guarantee. But think about it -- is it ever a guarantee at any age??

Every day is a gift. There is nothing wrong with those still among the living, to make plans, to dream, to fall in love. You simply have to do it, to assume tomorrow will be another day, and that life will continue until it doesn't.

This is part of life, and will always remain so, as long as there is life.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:29 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,829 posts, read 8,677,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Today is the anniversary of the death of my beloved father-in-law. He was 76 when he died of a heart attack sitting at his breakfast table- alone.

When we called my husband's mother to give her the news she was devastated. They had been divorced for decades and each had subsequently failed marriages but recently they had rekindled their love. After screams and tears of shock, she said "We were going to spend our old age together".

My husband and I were not surprised to hear their plans but we wondered exactly when they thought this reunion was going to take place. Neither one had taken any action or even spoken about it to family. They had rekindled their romance a good 3 years prior to his death. He lived in Oklahoma and she lived in Missouri.

Can seniors successfully make major transitions like this or are they pipe dreams? When does "old age" begin? From where I sit at age 69 it looks like 10 years away! We all know the older we get the harder it is to deal with change but of course some do. I'm sure it is easier with a life partner but what about people who have not actually shared a home with another human being for many years?

Just some random thoughts this morning. BTW my mother-in-law died in a car wreck on her way to chemo therapy about 2 years later so some might say they are together again anyway.
Lemmee tell you a love story. It's long, but I'll make it as short as I can. This story was told to me by a neighbor some years ago.

After college, Aunt Matilda went off to India. Said she wanted to spend some time helping the truly needy.

She loved the work. It paid only a pittance, but Matilda always believed in doing the right thing, and it felt right.

She never married. Spent her whole life in India. So she was never part of the Social Security program. And her pension represented only the pittance she was paid. She owned no property to speak of.

Then Aunt Matilda came of retirement age. "What to do", the family wondered?

Matilda was strong and faithful, and said she would like to move back to her hometown in Maine. She was educated after all, and could still work.

So she moves into a small apartment back in Maine and gets a job in the library.

The second day on the job, in walks her high school boyfriend! He is now a widower millionaire. They fall back in love.

Now doesn't that make you smile?
As far as I know it is a true story. It was told to me by Matilda's niece, and at that time Matilda had been married 8 years.
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
5,850 posts, read 15,981,538 times
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Good for Aunt Matilda!

The OP has posed a very interesting question that I've been considering a lot lately.
My spouse and I are early 60s. I have rheumatoid arthritis. My mobility has decreased a fair amount the last 5 years.
We had an idea we'd do some traveling - Europe, Hawaii, Canada, a cruise or two. Maybe even buy an RV and do some travel around the US.
I don't see myself as having too many more years - maybe 10, and with limitations. No hiking 10 miles in the Alps, or even climbing the stairs in King Ludwig's castle. I'd love to get started, at least with the RV thing or a cruise or bucket-list trip once a year.
Spouse does not see himself retiring....EVER.
Trouble is, if he dies, I can't carry on the business. The kids are not interested.
He thinks he has plenty of time, and he probably does - his parents died in their 90s.
But I don't have much time left.
Go without him?
No fun.
Apparently I am going to have to kick some spouse butt very soon.
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:32 PM
 
Location: California
30,771 posts, read 33,618,094 times
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My friends mom surprised her this week by announcing she is moving in with her boyfriend. They are both in their mid 70's and have been dating for 2 years.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:42 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,775 posts, read 40,206,956 times
Reputation: 24041
I lost an absolutely lovely friend last yr, he was age 96, still driving his Mustang Cobra, that his wife had instisted he continue to honor the delivery, while she was on her deathbed 28 yrs ago. He always missed her, he endured and reluctantly stayed single to honor his 4 daughter's wishes. I worked out fine,

On the other hand... My spouse's dad remaried a 'gold-digger' 20 yrs ago, (3 months after death, and on ex wife's BD) it has been a mess for all. He is just waiting for her to die, and will be moving in with us IF she doesn't knock him off first.

Here in Thailand today, there are thousands of remarried / still married ex's with their Thai wife. My Pakistanee scooter / tailor friend keeps a family in Canada, and one in Thailand (for over 40 yrs each).

Strange people we all are.

I hope to retain a positive relationship and let my (1) spouse age in peace - (as is possible...)

The surviver of either can move on guilt free.

Chances are good 50% - 80% of us will pass away single. Prepare for that without burning a lot of bridges

I just spent 2 months with age 20 somethings...cannot imagine starting a NEW relationship over again
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