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30 July 2007

Growing older


I've been thinking a lot about growing old lately. It's something that's never really bothered me before, but seeing H so sick and frail this past week focused my mind of some unthinkable thoughts.

Yesterday, as H was working slowly through his day, he kept coming inside to rest. He sat in a lounge chair and almost immediately, was asleep. He did that four times. I told him not to overdo it but he insisted he was ok and felt better doing something.

It made me think of how we both used to work hard when we were a bit younger and it never affected us. H used to be really strong and took pride in being able to work on most projects alone, but was always ready to help others along side him not as strong. We've both lost a lot of our strength in recent years and when I saw H so sick, I realised it's not just physical strength that's been lost.

It's a strange thing growing older when you get past about 55. Until then I still felt I was as strong and capable as I had ever been, and then in a really short time, I felt much weaker. H has also become weaker in the past few years. He has tried to keep going as he always did but he's given up trying now and asks for my help fairly frequently.

It is good that we're still happily married as I think it would be quite different, and maybe difficult, if we were alone. It seems we compliment each other now better than we ever have. What I can't do, H does, and what he can't do, I can. I hope it continues on like that because it feels very comfortable. Old shoes fit the best.

But I also know that our future will hold sad goodbyes to many friends, both human and animal, and that scares me a little. We've already been to the funeral of one friend this year and it was sad and very confronting. Who knows who the next funeral will be for. The Australian statistics tell us that if you're a man and you've reached the age of 60, you have, on average, another 22 years to live. An Australian woman, having reached 60, is likely to live another 25 years. So if the statistics prove to be accurate in our case, we still have a long way to go.

Having someone you love so sick makes you think though. Listening to breathing in the still of the night makes your mind wander to the unthinkable. I was glad to be up and showered this morning and glad that it's a new week with so many new possibilities.

13 comments:

  1. You sound worried this morning *hugs* I'm sure both you and H have many years ahead of you still ~ you eat well, and lead a healthy lifestyle :)

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  2. We have gone through this already as I am now 53 and my husband is 60.

    We both went through a five year period of losing parents and then three of my siblings.

    There comes a time when you realize there is a lot more behind you than there is before you.

    However, sometimes the added wisdom makes up for it. We both agree we wouldn't want to be teenagers again!

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  3. *Hugs* from us in the Red House down in Melbourne.

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  4. Boy do I agree with you. At 64 my mind is still young but not the body! I have to keep reminding myself that it is all right. Its a new season in life and we need to embrace it.

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  5. Hugs to you Rhonda. I don't need to remind you to make the most of everyday.
    My own mum died when she was 64 so I've already gone through the "if I live as long as my mum I've already used half of my life" thoughts. But my dad turned 80 this year and although he is slowing down and losing his hearing he still lives alone and takes care of himself. He does a great job. i just hope that mum can see how well he is doing, she worried so much about him coping when she knew she was dying.

    cheers Lenny

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  6. Awww! Wow. An inside look to my future. Glad to hear that ya'll are still married and happy. That's what it's all about!

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  7. Dear Rhonda; When you see someone you love a great deal, sick, it makes you think the worst. But the best thing is that you are not alone in this world. Do not get discouraged. As our bodies get older, we get different opportunities to do different things. My prayers are with you and your husband. Thank you for all of your posts. They are quite encouraging. God bless!
    Maria S.

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  8. Hi Rhonda, You are definitely not alone when you think about these things. My Dad has early on-set Dementia. He was only 57 when he was diagnosed, now at only 60 he struggles with most things. I'm only 32 but the fear of this being hereditry makes me think about these things to. Simply forgetting where I left the keys makes me think... Hugs to you and H

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  9. Thank you ladies. It's very heartening to get such warm and generous support.

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  10. Hi Rhonda
    I am a little late for this posting, but just wanted to acknowledge how you were feeling. My folks are well into their 70's and when I see my Dad struggling to do something he was always able to do, it certainly makes me catch my breath, and then I just try and remember to let go and just focus on finding ways to let them know how much I love them. It can be a hard thing, this living in the moment thing.

    The time you now get to spend with your hubby seems so lovely and precious - I can imagine that sometimes you might get the urge to grip tightly!

    thinking of you
    tdh

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  11. My husband has health issues and I worry about our future ...

    Thinking of you.

    PS. That verandah shot is a beautiful photo!

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  12. Rhonda, I am reading through your archives as I absolutely love your writings... this post touched me alot. I am 51 and my husband is nearly 58.. sometimes my mind wanders and I start fretting about losing him.. we also complement each other.. like you & H do.
    lovely heart touching words xo

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  13. You mentioned you felt physically like yourselfs till 55. That is what we felt too. Now all to quickly things have changed. I guess this is just part of life we need to accept. We are in our middle 60s. I too have been reading your archives and glad to have found this post. I do know though that some of the problems with my body could have been avoided if I had taken better care. I pushed myself too many times doing heavy work and totting heavy loads too heavy for me. Useing hand sheers, cutters and such too small for the job so I had to use all my strength to get the job done. Heavier tools would have made it sooo much easier on my shoulders and hands. I did not ask for help when I should have and such. I felt so very strong and independent and now am paying for this in some problems with my body that hinder some activities that I could have done easily before. I only hope I can stop song younger person from doing the same damage. That is why I am posting this. I am though soooo grateful to be able to still garden {though doing so wiser} and still live the life we love. Jody

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