Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Monday, November 20, 2006

Attitudes on Aging and Loss

While at Mom’s, we talked about the many losses she’s faced this year. Dad has been in care for almost a year and a half. They’ve lost their hopes and dreams of traveling, enjoying the remaining years of their lives together, doing the things they enjoy. They’ve lost many friends this year. Finances are getting tight. It’s hard for her to look forward to what lies ahead when all she sees is what she’s lost.

I try to encourage her to find joy in life, to be thankful for what they still have together, to enjoy their memories, and to take care of herself. I see the fruit of depression in her aches and pains and her outlook on life. I printed out the American Heart Association’s Caregiver Manual and encouraged her to read it and work through some of the journal pages. I doubt that she will, but I keep trying.

As I’ve watched her this year and as I’ve faced my own health issues, I’m making a concerted effort to focus on what I CAN do and what I DO have to look forward to. I want to be a delightful older woman, not a depressed or cranky one. I can’t control the circumstances I’ll face, but I want to control the way I face my circumstances. An important skill for Gen Sandwichers who want to avoid feeling smooshed.

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