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Old 03-25-2016, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,486 posts, read 43,870,844 times
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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.
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:51 AM
 
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It's possible I guess. I saw a woman last week that everyone always considered a spinster. She has always looked the same since I've known her. - a middle aged look.

So she's 70 now and taking off to live with her boyfriend on the beaches of south Texas.

She worked but stayed at home to take care of her parents. Her mother finally died at 99 years of age, and she was free!
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Northern Wisconsin
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I'm absolutely amazed that someone thinks that, in their mid 70's that they have lots of time to plan for a future life full of activities and fun. At that age, people ought to celebrate waking up in the morning and then getting out of bed. Lots of people their age, can't and don't. I try to tell people to live your life now, not at some distant future date, because that day may not come. Circumstances change.

EG. My wife and I were planning a retirement together soon, in our mid 60's. Now she has metastatic cancer. Travel plans, moving plans etc. are all off the table. We have no plans for the future other than more chemo, and then we'll see. Live your life now.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,250 posts, read 8,581,033 times
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Who knows what they really planned to do? Maybe it was comforting enough to go back to an "old friend" and commiserate with each other even if they wouldn't actually move in together. Maybe it WAS a pipe dream but I wouldn't belittle it just because it didn't fulfill itself in the way you thought obvious. And to think, they never even spoken about it with family? Well, it couldn't have been real then! Parents will always have their own privacies and secrets from their kids - they have no obligations to talk about their "love lives"!
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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Your MIL may have been lamenting the final loss of their earlier dreams of growing old together. It sounds like she kept the dream alive in her mind, 'thinking someday it will happen,' without really connecting it to the reality of their own mortality.

Similarly, I think many of us think, "I've always wanted to ....." or "someday I'm going to ....." - without confronting the reality that many things in life have a 'window of opportunity' that closes quickly. It's the old adage, "Life happens, while you are preparing to do 'something else'"
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Central NY
4,697 posts, read 3,267,134 times
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Good grief. I find the above responses to be terribly depressing.

Who is to say you can't have love and romance at any age? Do you really think there is a cut-off age? What is it? 60? 70? 80?

One of my sisters divorced her husband, remarried some years later. Second husband died. She and first husband reconnected.

Look at those couples who find love even in the nursing homes..... getting married when they are both in their 80s. Should we just shake our heads and say "that's just not possible.... it can't be love. They are too old."

Give me a break.

augiedogie: I am very sorry to hear of your wife's illness. Life is very cruel at times.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Leaving fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada
3,863 posts, read 6,884,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
I'm absolutely amazed that someone thinks that, in their mid 70's that they have lots of time to plan for a future life full of activities and fun. At that age, people ought to celebrate waking up in the morning and then getting out of bed. Lots of people their age, can't and don't. I try to tell people to live your life now, not at some distant future date, because that day may not come. Circumstances change.

EG. My wife and I were planning a retirement together soon, in our mid 60's. Now she has metastatic cancer. Travel plans, moving plans etc. are all off the table. We have no plans for the future other than more chemo, and then we'll see. Live your life now.
Please get your wife out as much as you can before she gets too sick... Any kind of outing and memory making will be good for both of you.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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augiedogie-I am so sorry your wife and you are going through this.


And your point is valid. There is no 'someday' on anyone's calendar.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,714 posts, read 17,668,720 times
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Can people reunite and rekindle love? Of course they can, at any age. However, the older one gets, the more "moving parts" seem to get thrown in, which prevent things from happening.

Who knows why they didn't actually get back together, but whereas when they were married, there was one property, now there were two. Maybe one was underwater on their property or didn't think it could sell easily, so they stayed in place waiting for conditions to improve. Maybe they both had social circles established in the new areas they couldn't bear to leave. Maybe they were unsure if the relationship would last. Maybe they just kept putting off until tomorrow what they should have done then. When tomorrow rolled around, one was dead.

I do think it's dumb for people near the statistical life expectancy or in poor health to defer, defer, defer.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:55 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,538,376 times
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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 67½ 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.
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