Wishing for More Time with Elderly Loved Ones

I recently led a discussion with my university students on the subject of aging and leisure and the physical and mental effects of aging on our bodies and on our society. When we age, of course our bodies naturally slow down.

My students took a short, online assessment “How Long Will I Live?”  and had to write their reaction to the number provided. (Click to take the test–it’s free and interesting).

Some students were afraid to see what that number might be, hesitant to face their mortality. Others saw it as a wake-up call to become more healthy while still young. Most got a number between 77-94 years of age.

When I read the theme of the Weekly Photo Challenge, Wish, I knew I had to share something about our wishes for good health and a long life.

Our allotted 80-ish years on this planet are fleeting and should never be squandered. With that said, sadly we take our own time for granted, then gradually lose touch with our elderly loved ones. The lovely ladies in the above photo are all in their 80s, with two of them not in the best of health.

This quote spoke to me:

Spend time with those you love. One of these days you will say either, “I wish I had,” or “I’m glad I did.” Zig Ziglar

In the photo below, my father is hiking Mammoth Lakes with his brand new trekking poles…on his 80th birthday! It took a lot of coordinating with the family to surprise him with this trip. My dad and mom took us to Yosemite as young children and forever planted the love of the outdoors within our hearts. This was a tough hike, he admitted later, but you would never had known that day.

80-year old dad hiking on his birthday in Mammoth Lakes
Dad loved his trekking poles he got for his 80th birthday!

Here is a photo of my mom, who at age 76, continues to reside in a convalescent home because she cannot care for herself. In this picture, nine years ago, she was able to use her walker and stroll along her beloved San Diego beaches.

My mom is healthier days when she could walk with her walker near her beloved beaches.
Mom and me in San Diego at Thanksgiving, 2008.

In this photo below is my spunky, Auntie Kim, who began life as a Korean orphan. Now in her early 80s, she is still going strong! She lives near her oldest daughter, my cousin.

Auntie and Me
Auntie and Me in Oregon.

Oh, how I wish I could spend more time with these precious ones. My aunties and mother-in-law live in the Pacific Northwest, my mother in San Diego. At least my father lives within a two-hour drive. Sometimes distance limits our time together.

Mortality surely limits our time together.

But we can still wish.

Make the best of your time with your loved ones before that time runs out. It will, no matter how much you wish it differently.

 

45 thoughts on “Wishing for More Time with Elderly Loved Ones

  1. Such a poignant piece, Terri. I have no older relatives now. Mum & Dad both died well over 30 years ago and aunts and uncles have long gone. I do have a cousin, who is my godmother and was like a daughter to my Mum and Dad. She is 75 and so special in my life. She has always been there for me. There was a period when I lost touch and that is my one regret, however, we have reconnected and I treasure every moment I talk to her. She lives in another State, so I don’t see her often but I look forward to our weekly chats. Thanks for such a wonderful message to us all and sharing at #MLSTL. I’ll be sharing on social media.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks, Sue. I’m glad to hear you reconnected with your cousin. Family is so important! My brother gets married this coming weekend and lots of family will be around. Most live 600 miles away so it will be wonderful to see everyone! I’m really enjoying sharing older posts on #MLSTL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh what a lovely weekend to look forward to and enjoy Terri! Congratulations to your brother. Sharing older posts is valuable, Terri. We write so many posts that are just left in the history of the blog, yet are still relevant. I’m glad that you are part of the #MLSTL community and also taking the opportunity to share any of your posts. Enjoy your family weekend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many things I wish I had asked of my grandparents when they were still here. I tell my grandchildren all of the time to ask me anything so they might not have regrets when I am gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a tricky balance when your parents and others who you hold dear start to age and you know they won’t be around forevere – add distance into the mix and it gets even more difficult. My mum is planning on moving closer to us when she starts to need more help – it will save us the 2 hour drive to help her and will mean more time together in her older years.

    Visiting from #MLSTL and to let you know I’ve shared this on my SM xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did oral history projects with all my relatives who went through the Great Depression and WWII. I’m so glad I did. I learned so much that never made it into history books, and I got to know them better. It’s an activity I highly recommend.

    I’m glad you’ve gotten to spend time with your older family members. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A most beautiful post Terri, and wise words. It’s so easy for us to take for granted the things we love most. And life is so busy eating up the hours as we add so much to our ‘to do’ lists. We have to make time for the things and people we love. It’s a matter of moving around some priorities. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi :), http://lisadorenfest.com/a-brief-introduction/#comment-32142 Lisa sent me here that maybe you’ll be able to help me :).
    I really want to ask you something, because I’m thinking about moving my page http://www.simpleula.com to self hosted (from wordpress.com to org), I’m only wondering about my followers, will they be able to see my posts, like them and comment and could I do the same while I have my website on wordpress.org? I would really appreciate your answer! 🙂
    I can see that you’re managed having likes and comments from wordpress reader? 🙂
    Thank you so much in advance and I wish you all success! 🙂
    I really like your website! 🙂 And I’ve already followed you on twitter and facebook! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So, I’m going to live and blog until the grand age of 91, Terri. That suits me fine. 😀 I hope man will have landed on Mars by then.

    This is a beautiful post. I love the quote you added. Another quote I love is this one –

    “Don’t come and see and bring me flowers when I am dead
    Come and see me and bring me flowers while I am alive”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is beautiful Terri but it made me miss my parents. On Saturday it was my Dad’s 36th year anniversary of his passing and in June it will be my Mum’s 30th. Time flies and both only lived until their mid 60s. I would love to spend some time with them. Life is short. Thanks for this lovely reminder.

    Like

  9. Hi Terri, What a wonderful sentiment. I was blessed to be able to spend a significant amount of time with both my parents before they passed. I miss them dearly and would not trade that time spent with them for anything. Thanks

    Like

  10. Great post and so much truth behind it. As you know, my parents live far, far away from us… we hope to camp together! I miss them every day, it’s really hard to be this far away from them. However, it makes me treasure the time we DO spend together! I took the quiz, and got 93. My grandkids better come and visit me lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this Terri. I have lost so many of my parents’ generation with only one beloved aunt remaining on both sides of the family. And my older siblings are getting up there in age too. I treasure the time we have but it is too infrequent for sure. Your post is a lovely reminder to make time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Wish: Digital Photo | What's (in) the picture?

  13. Our elder family members are all deceased now and I miss them dearly. I loved visiting them whenever possible and my last living Aunt started writing in her 70s. When she died at 90 she had published one book and had three others she was working on. My grandmother and another Aunt started painting later in life and became quite good over time. They would take classes and paint with the guy on TV. If only there was one more day to get them at the table for a cup of tea and to listen to their stories. Nice post – thanks for the memories. Looks like I’m aiming at 90 so I better continue to work for another decade or so.

    Liked by 2 people

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