My parents are both turning 80 this year! Overall, they are pretty healthy. And I hope that I’m this healthy when I hit 80. For those of you not having grandparents around, it’s the first time experiencing what life is like getting older. My grandparents came over a few times on vacation as we grew up, since they were from Europe, so we didn’t get a realistic picture into phases of life.
They are both bionic, with my mom having one hip replacement and my dad having both hip replacements and both knee replacements (we loving call him the bionic man).
My mom has trouble hearing and of course will not use a hearing aid. Having a slight hearing problem myself, I understand the concept that people just need to speak up. And of course we know what you said. Once you’ve tried a hearing aid, you understand what you’ve missed. Now I realize that when something doesn’t make sense, it most likely is I didn’t hear it right.
European cuisine has its pros and cons. It’s very very good, but at times, not the healthiest. My parents have removed most of the great foods (hungarian sausage, tartar sandwiches, schnitzel to name a few). They now eat more baked chicken, fish, oatmeal.
I’m amazed they still try to exercise. My dad goes swimming 3x a week. My mom walks in the basement for about 20 minutes a day. We gave my mom a granny workout video years ago, she did that for a while, but has stopped that and just walks.
Their faculties are sill functioning. They read, listen to programs, follow the news. Things that used to be important may not be as important anymore. They have watched many friends and family move on before them. They have watched those that remained behind on picking up the pieces. My dad is one of the few men left from the group they hung out with. It’s kind of cute how he became the helper for all the other women. He drives them around and helps them with either finding someone to do work in their homes, or doing a few things himself. I told him it’s good that my mom is not the jealous type.
I think the most important piece is they both have kept their passions. My dad is a fanatic for card playing. They used to have a group of friends, we called them the card party. They would visit each other’s houses each weekend and have fun eating and playing cards. My dad has joined 2 clubs and plays cards every Wednesday. We all know not to bother him on those days to help us. It would need to be an emergency that cannot change dates for him to come help us on that day. My mom’s passion is cooking. She still makes a home cooked meal everyday. She loves to have us over and share a meal. As a memorial for my mom, I’m putting together a cookbook for my brother and sister, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They all love her cooking. They also have a better relationship. All those things they used to argue about don’t matter anymore. They laugh more, at themselves and with each other. It’s getting a glimpse of what they were like when they first met. They seem younger and still in love.
So I feel that getting older is something to look forward to. Nice to know that you can end your life with the same passion and love that you started life with.