Posted by: abbiewatters | September 8, 2011

Old Age

What were your parents like when they got older? – Mama was only 77 when she died of Alzheimer’s and, mentally, she had already been gone for 5 or 6 years, so it’s hard for me to talk about what she was like when she was “older”. She lost a lot of weight when she was in her mid-60’s, and became much more active. She used to walk with me every morning for about an hour, and we were able to just “visit” about her history, her family when she was a child, her friends and schooling. I really enjoyed getting to know her as an adult and a friend, instead of just as Mama.

Papa was the same as he had always been. He loved to fish and did that a lot after he retired. He also loved to putter around the garage and “fix” things. After Mama died, he moved to a retirement community and settled in well. He was a great conversationalist and loved to tell jokes and stories. He also got “Web-TV” and spent lots of time cruising the internet (age 85+). He gradually became more and more fixated on his aches and pains, and loved to go to the doctor for any new medicine or treatment that might be available. He was physically pretty active, up until a couple of years before his death at age 96, and was only confined to the health care unit for the last six months or so of his life.

Did you have any expectations at points in your life about what growing older would be like for you? – I always thought I would be able to get busy and lose the excess weight when I got into my 60’s, but so far no luck (although I’m only 67, so I still have a little time). I’m resigned to the fact that, with my family history of both my grandmother and mother suffering from Alzheimer’s, I may develop it, too.

Because of that, I try to keep as mentally active as I can, and also I’m trying to experience as many pleasureful things as I can through these years when I still have my wits about me. I’m writing this blog, for one thing; I have a whole Social Media community on Facebook and Twitter that I love and keep in contact with; I read a lot; I participate in Bible study; I’ve begun to learn to practice centering prayer; and I’m trying Praying in Color as a spiritual discipline.

I would like to get moved to Tacoma to Franke Tobey Jones sooner rather than later. My life is too short to continue to languish in the heat of Texas summers, particularly with the political climate here that is anathema to me.

How should a person prepare for old age? Is there anything you wish you’d done differently? – You should enjoy what you have while you still have the mental and physical ability to do it. I wish I had not let my exercise slip around the time Papa died.

I got so caught up in taking care of him, I quit walking every morning, and then I just didn’t get back to it. I know if I could just force myself to get started again, I would feel better, and would be better able to lose this excess weight.

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Responses

  1. Abbie…just found this by clicking on one of the pictures on a Facebook news clip by you….I think it is a neat tribute…and we’re still praying for you to get hearts desire and the move to Frank Tobey Jones….
    Check in … and check us out on Facebook!
    Loving you…Ann Morgan & Co.

    Like

  2. Abbie … have really enjoyed following your life in your recent blogs. What a great thing to do as a record.

    Like


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