Harley’s Dad is having serious health troubles. Unfortunately, he is having difficulties with his memory and mobility. Harley and his sisters are having to make difficult discussions with their Dad on what the next chapter in his life will look like.
This has prompted a discussion at our house on what we imagine our retirement to be, what we would like to do, where we would live, and what if. Well, eventually everyone experiences the what if scenario, being prepared for it is the key, and the challenge.
We were discussing what we would do when we have to give up our driving privileges. If we stay where we are and we had scooters we could get to Wal-Mart, Publix, Home Depot, several restaurants, the drug store, a Jewish Temple, Catholic Church, a Church of God, and all are less than two miles from our present home. Harley of course is proposing races to all of these places and the logistics of getting 6’ 2x4’s home is absolutely hilarious. It looks like someday we will be too old to drive a car but not to run power tools in Harley’s imagined late stages of life.
Of course we have not figured in any diseases that would totally disable us in our plan. As we look at our familial history my Mom has MS. She says it slows her down a bit but that’s all. She's 87, was diagnosed in her 50’s, which typically has less severe compromises. Mom is active with her friends, reads 3-5 books each week, still cooks and has small dinner parties, is an active Red Hat Lady, and keeps a social schedule I would have difficulties maintaining.
Harley’s Dad has a terrible diet, with years of smoking in his history, and lacks a variety of stimulation. Harley got Dad some small power tools so he could build and paint bird houses on his porch. He lives in a high rise and the neighbors complained so he had to give up the one thing that he really loves working with wood. He really wasn’t excited about doing anything else.
We decided we want to be more like Mom trying to stay active, continuing to take our vitamins, eating healthy, and socializing with our friends and family.
We don’t know what life will bring and all the planning in the world will only be that plans. We will have to defer to divine destiny at some point. I suppose we will be lucky if we can have each other for our old age. As I look around it seems that is not the standard but the exception. Whatever comes we will handle hopefully, with love and grace.