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    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2018
    Something to ponder: Majority of us here have been married for decades. There is a commitment there that carries us through problems even when horrible. We have learned marriage takes work - there are good times and some bad times but our commitment gets us through. I also realize there are some who are closer to the 'newlywed' time than the rest of us, but you are just as committed.

    Since the baby boomers, I don't see a lot of that in the later generations.There are many that do, but seems overall to many do not. They seem to be in and out of relationships like the days change. Long time relationships and commitments are non-existent. Both my kids have been in and out seeming to walk away easily.

    What is going to happen when these younger generations reach over 50, have medical problems where they need someone to help them? Now it is spouses and family members helping the aging, but who will be around for them? They talk about the overwhelming need for assisted living or nursing homes for the baby boomers, but what I see is a bigger need the generations after us than ever before for assisted living/nursing homes more than ever. It is a sad prospect.

    Hope it is worded so no one is insulted or made to feel bad because that is not my intent.
    Yes, I know exactly what you mean, Charlotte. I've seen it with my daughter--she doesn't "get" the family life and the family network of support that so many of us were raised in. She had no real commitment to her husband, as far as I can see. She didn't really marry for life--she married until she didn't feel like it anymore. Then she went out and met all kinds of somewhat eligible guys on, and had a lot of dates--none of which she brought home to introduce to family. Now she is seeing a really nice and eligible guy she met at work--they have much in common and in the five minutes I was allowed to spend with him, I got a good impression. But she says there is no thought of marriage on either side...he has met her children, but just briefly, and has told her he doesn't want to be a step-dad to three kids. (He is divorced x 1, with no children.) She is not interested in marriage either. They live about 45 minutes apart, and when he leaves the job in a year or so, the relationship will most likely end. It doesn't seem to bother her. Where is the depth of emotional commitment, the depth of lifetime commitment, the through thick and thin until death us do part that we all used to believe in? (And I still do.) I agree, Charlotte, and it's got nothing to do with being puritanical. These easy-breezy relationships are okay up to a point, but they do not provide the lifelong, gritty, do-or-die support that an old-fashioned marriage for life does.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    I see both: those who view life as commitment and community and know that love is a decision as well as a feeling, and those who wander through life with a me first attitude, the sort of attitude that says 'when you really, really need me I'm out of here.' Those who live with that sort of attitude may be setting themselves up poorly for a time when they need help. And don't we all at some point.

    But as to this generation or that generation, I'm not so sure it applies. My great-grandfather left my great-grandmother with three kids to raise by herself.......seeking greener pastures and all that. And my partner's mother raised her three children with the assistance of three husbands or more and a gaggle of boyfriends in between. Most, though not all, of the young people I know are working hard at relationship. I think there is hope for future generations.
    Charlotte, maybe the millenials and subsequent generations will simply treat seniors as disposable, as they seemingly treat relationships. Perhaps not a bad idea anyhow as this old planet is increasingly taxed to accommodate population growth and it's attendant pollution, etc. That way, warehousing unloved and non-contributing seniors in assisted living and nursing homes won't become an issue. That might not be as hard to sell to seniors as one might imagine, given the incredulity and horror with which many of them (excluding Wolf) view the tearing down of heretofore sacred institutions like marriage, family, decency, respect, etc. It's hard for me to feel optimistic about what I see happening all around me, not just with millenials but also with partisan bickering in government, etc. But I can recall my aging father feeling the same way about my kids' long hair, rock and roll music, etc., so perhaps this is Nature's way of preparing us for death -- we're more than ready to be out of this bedlam!

    I'm probably in a particularly dark mood now because I just lost new wife Joyce (not so new after eight years of marriage) on Monday and am teary about her upcoming memorial service on Saturday. Her body just finally wore out at age 91, and she was more than ready for the hereafter that her strong faith promised. She had been in declining physical health for the past couple of years (but no AD), with chronic back pain that could no longer be adequately managed with the maximum doses of meds her doctors could legally prescribe, dry macular degeneration that had her so blind that she was no longer able to even recognize good friends, and inability to maintain weight that had her down from a healthy 125 pounds (she was 5' 7" tall) to less than 90 pounds the last we weighed her a few weeks ago. She had become totally dependent on me for everything, and when I came down with a really bad cold (that still lingers) a couple of weeks ago and unable to adequately care for her, her son and his wife took her in. She had told me earlier that she thought she was dying, and after her kids had the opportunity to see what bad shape she was really in, they contacted her doctor, who ordered a Hospice consult. The Hospice nurse immediately admitted her to a wonderful Hospice House where family could be with her at all times. I chose to stay with her overnight as long as she was there, and the kids took turns during the day. The Hospice doctor explained to Joyce that their focus would be to keep her as pain free as possible, increasing the meds as neccessary, which would finally cause her to sleep more, but then offered her the alternative of hospitalization where doctors would run more tests and resume trying to "cure" her. She was adamant that she did not want hospitalization, and was prepared, even eager, to die right there. The family concurred with her decision, so that's the way it played out.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    Hb's sons were here with spouses and kids. They are both working on their relationships intending to stay through thick and thin. We all worked seamlessly together like my family on the east coast did. It was refreshing. Hb only had one sister who is somewhat standoffish.
    I do wonder if there will be people willing to work in assisted living places when I get to the point of needing it.
    I thought I'd better break before losing all that text.
    Resuming the story, she was able to entertain visits from a few friends and folks from her church for several days as her pain meds dosage was gradually increased, but then finally lapsed into a deep sleep from which she never roused for the last day and a half, before finally taking her last labored breath at 2:45 a.m. Monday with me at her bedside. A few days earlier, while still awake, she had asked me to tell her goodbye, which I did. I told her I would miss her, but that I'd be fine, and that I was happy for her. Now that it's all over, I'm just so proud of the courage and grace with which she dealt with her adversities and her final days, with never a complaint. She was a real trouper.
    End of story, so now I'll go off and try to find something mindless to do.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    Gourdchipper. I am so sorry for your loss. ((((((( HUGS ))))))))
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    Gourdchipper sorry for your loss - again. I am so happy you had the last few years together filled with happiness and love. Even though you only had 8 years there was still that deep commitment that I fear with be missing to many of the younger generations. Maybe as they approach 50 their thinking will change. who knows!
    Gourdchipper, I am so sorry for the loss of Joyce, although it sounds like at 91 and not getting any quality of life back, she was just as happy to go--a relief for her, but very hard on the ones left behind. Thank you for letting us know. Now try to get some rest and shake off the residual of that cold. When you feel up to it, keep us updated about how you are doing. Many hugs.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    I'm so sorry Gourdchipper. You made the most of your life after your first loss and I'm sure you made Joyce's life much happier, too. I'm sorry your life together was cut short.
    Thanks for the sympathy and hugs, ladies. Before we married Joyce had made me promise to outlive her, as she had already buried two husbands and didn't fancy burying another. I guess I've fulfilled that promise, but after burying two deeply loved wives I don't think I'll be trying it again. Once I get past these tears I'm planning to start getting more exercise that I'd had to largely forego due to caregiving taking so much of my time, and then throw myself back into co-authoring an anthology about the wonderful company where I spent a very happy and fulfilling career. At ninety and with no major health issues that I know of, I figure I'm good for a few more years if this crazy world holds out that long!
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    Gourdchipper - so sorry for your loss.
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    Gourdchipper, I remember Joyce when she was posting on the site as a caregiver and how warm and caring she was to everyone. I’m glad that you both had another chance at love. Blessings.
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    Gourdchipper so sorry for your loss. AS Mary75 said so glad you had another chance at love.
    Mary, I believe you must be remembering the Spouse Joyce who ended up hooking up with Texas Joe. TJ and I were both shopping for wives at about the same time and both ended up with Joyces. I think they were a good bit younger than I, and last I heard they were as happy as bugs.
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2018
    Yes, Gourdchipper, you're right. Sorry. Thanks for the update on the second couple.
    • CommentAuthorAmber
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2018 edited
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Im glad you have many happy memories together.
    • CommentAuthoraaa
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2018
    It's hard for me to imaging marrying again when I become single again - if indeed I am the single one. While we've had a happy marriage, I'm not sure I'd be ready to take it on again. I marvel at the few I've met here who go on to marry again, older than I am now.

    Does anyone remember the old movie Soilent Green? I think that was the title, that once someone reached 30 they were no longer needed and so were disposed of. Maybe they will think up something along those lines for the future, when there not enough caregivers to take care of the people with this type of disease. I read recently that it is increasing rapidly, although I sometimes think they might just be diagnosing it more.