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Old 07-17-2019, 02:50 PM
1,160 posts, read 259,546 times
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Originally Posted by goingstrong View Post
I've moved through life in a series of phases - the carefree single phase, the young couple with kids in tow phase, the stressed out teen parenting phase, the empty nester phase, and the grandparenting phase. I happily ended each phase without a backward glance until I arrived at this new one. Due to a job change that allows for her mother to pick her up after school, I am free from after school childcare for youngest granddaughter. I have long looked forward to having more free time but now that itís here, I realize that the end of this phase puts me one step closer to the phase I do not want to enter. The one that I dread. The one that Iím going through with my mother. The phase where you are no longer responsible for other family members, but instead are someone that other family members need to be responsible for. I donít think my mother realized when she shifted into this phase of her life - she only needed a little help around the house, the vacuum cleaner was suddenly much heavier and she couldnít see well enough to notice the dust and dirt collecting, and all of a sudden bill collectors were calling even though she was sure she sent them a payment but she couldnít quite figure out her checkbook. I donít want to go there - Iím not ready for that phase. Will I know it when it happens - will I care? As I look forward to more freedom and travel this knowing of what is finished and what is yet to come hangs over me like a black cloud. Iím sure I will work through it, but I think for me this will be the most difficult phase of my life yet. What phase of life are you in and what has been the most difficult for you?
My parents entered a continuing care community on their own about 3 yrs ago - fortunately they could afford it as it's expensive. This process is helpful in that it'll help the transition to the last phase. They have someone cooking, cleaning, checking on them - and if/when the time comes, they have more dependent care available (up through nursing home).

In my opinion, it's important to simplify your life as you get into your 70s.....get rid of excess belongings, streamline your finances/assets, streamline your payment of bills, minimize your bills and purchases to the greatest extend possible, purchase appliance and other warranties that allow you to make a single call and you have something fixed, live in a community where stuff happens around you and you don't have a worry (ie landscaping, maintenance, etc).

I find myself thinking I better make the most of each day and sometimes get antsy thinking I better get a move on and experience travel and other things that I've wanted to do before the ability to do so runs out.
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Old Yesterday, 10:41 PM
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It’s different for everyone. My mom and her sister were still living in their own apartment at 90-94 with no help.
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Old Today, 03:05 PM
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To the Op: Iím in the phase where Iíve lost both parents now. My Mom this year, and Iíve felt adrift, trying to find my place in a world without them. Weíve traveled back home to visit every summer and itís unsettling not to be planning that trip this year. Itís a variety of first events happening after a change I have to go through to find a new normal. An unbidden memory still brings tears at times, but itís becoming easier as time passes.[/quote]

The same with me. My parents were in quite good shape and living in my childhood home right into their 90s. Their deaths were very difficult for me as I (and my family) enjoyed many trips ďhomeĒ. Cleaning out their house of 50+ years was heartbreaking even though they lived a happy, fulfilling life. I do realize how very fortunate I was to have them so long but I still miss them.

When I then lost a close friend of many decades it was another blow. It is difficult to lose people who were always in your corner, even when you have a loving husband and children of your own. You do learn to move on and, in some ways, I find I appreciate my life even more now. Our attitude is ďwhy waitĒ to do things like travel or fix up a part of the house. Best to enjoy life while you have the opportunity.

OP, I understand your feelings but now your granddaughter will be sharing her experiences at school and you will be going to her sports events and/dance recitals/concerts. You still have happy days ahead!
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