We’ve known for quite a while that cough medicines don’t work. Sure, they soothe your throat as they’re going down but doctors have always told us they are not a cure for a cough or a sore throat. It’s one of those annoying things that just has to ‘run its course.’
It’s really amazing the number of things consumers are willing to try… just because. We’re in such a rush, all the time, that we can’t even let the most natural occurrence just happen in real time. We convince ourselves that any number of ‘over-the-counter’ miracle cures will lessen our suffering.
So, if you’re one of the millions of people who would rather risk ruining your teeth or ingesting Red #40 (personally, I’ve just always loved the taste of Robitussin) then by all means, just drink up!
My parents and I just celebrated our second anniversary of generational living. Has it improved their quality of life? Has it made their lives any easier?
I’ve decided to let them speak for themselves. So I quickly jotted down a few key questions and I’ll share their answers with you. These are things we all wonder about in our own lives so I figured they’d be helpful on a number of levels.
Me: “Are you happy?”
Dad: “I’m learning to deal…”
Me: “How much stress do you feel daily?”
Mom: “A bit.”
Me: “If you could have one wish?”
Mom: “That your Dad’s eyes were better.”
Dad: “That I could get my eyes back.”
My takeaway from this is that, while my parents (after nearly 60 years together) are basically on the same wave length, their commonality works best when they are at their best selves!
Three sisters, ages 92, 94 and 96, live in a house together. One night the 96 year old draws a bath. She puts one foot in and pauses. She yells down the stairs, “was I getting in or out of the bath?”
The 94 year old yells back, “I don’t know, I’ll come up and see.” She starts up the stairs and pauses. Then she yells out, “was I going up the stairs or down?”
The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea and listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, “I sure hope I never get that forgetful.” She ‘knocks on wood’ for good measure and then replies, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door!”
What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?
I don’t know and I don’t care.
Sadly, that’s a more truthful answer than you’d like to believe. Elderly people get a bum rap. They’re made fun of and they’re underestimated. Older folks have always been depicted as decrepit and powerless in movies and on TV. They are often seen as victims and tend to be the brunt of youngsters’ jokes.
But the joke isn’t on them… It’s on the jokesters themselves.
Celebrities like Betty White and politicians like Jimmy Carter can teach us all a thing or two. They’ve not let time slow them down. They are as active and as productive as ever.
So, next time you see an elderly person (possibly even walking with the help of a cane or a walker), don’t assume they need your pity or your assistance. They may surprise you!*
*holding the door open for YOU or even bopping you on the head with their handbag like Ruth Buzzi @Laugh-In
I never thought it would happen but it did… I got sick. Normally that wouldn’t be a catastrophic event except for the fact that I am currently my parents’ caretaker and I’m not supposed to get sick.
Who’s gonna take care of ME now?
Of course, all throughout my illness, my Mom kept asking if there was anything she could do for me but the last thing I wanted was for either of them to get sick, too. So, that’s my dilemma.
Mom was always my caretaker. Even after I left for college, she would tell me to come home if I got sick so that she could take care of me (like that was ever going to happen). And when I eventually got married and had a husband to take care of me, she still insisted on being there for me if at all possible.
I understand that feeling all too well because I hate it when my kids get sick. All I want to do is take the pain and misery away. It’s a mother’s curse. So, as I continue to avoid my parents while trying to prevent them from catching my germs, I learn the ultimate lesson… “Once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.”*
*Jodi Picoult: My Sister’s Keeper
Once upon a time… you fell in love, you got married, you had some kids and you lived happily ever after. At least that’s how all the fairytales went. Now, however, families come in all colors and genders; they sometimes have the kids before the marriage; and the story often does not have a happy ending. Oh well – that’s life.
That might sound kind of harsh but it’s realistic. For some. We don’t always get what we want out of life. Sometimes, when we expect to hear those three little words: “I Love You,” they come out sounding more like “fool me once…”
We’ve come to expect a certain amount of sentimentality and even magic in our relationships. We watch too many movies and read too many trendy novels to the point where we actually start believing that they represent reality. The secret to their success, sadly, is that they’re so far from what life is really like that they have become our fantasy escape. We envy what those characters have and they’re not even real.
I know money can’t buy happiness (although sometimes it may ‘buy love’) but it certainly can give off that illusion!
Yesterday, as I was driving Dad to the doctor, a car suddenly slowed down in front of me. The driver made a turn and then put on his blinker.
That was helpful to nobody.
When we took the elevator up to the second floor and attempted to get out, a young couple was waiting right in front of the open door. They just stood there and stared at us as if they weren’t the ones that needed to move.
That was helpful to nobody.
Then when we walked out to the car, we noticed that someone had parked in the van-accessible lines next to our handicapped spot. The reason you’re not supposed to park there is so that handicapped people have more space to get in and out of their vehicle (especially if they use a wheelchair or walker).
That was helpful to nobody.
So here’s my advice to the less than brilliant people of this world:
Think before you act. Be considerate. Rules apply to everyone (including you). Actions have consequences. And, as they like to say in the sporting world… JUST DO IT!