The World Changers #6 – Seasons

One of our members is making a big change in his life, and the group is saddened.  There are many changes made in the “Seasons of Life,” and one of the biggest, I suppose, is to downsize decades of living to manage a time of decreased mobility and the need for increased care.  So, our eldest member, as he puts it, has come “face to face with my mortality.”

His entire professional career has played out in our small city, which makes it more difficult to leave.  He has chosen to relocate some 250 miles away in a new facility that will relieve him of most chores and the energy draining activities of daily living.  He will have his own apartment and can come and go as he pleases, but any needed attention is readily available.  In addition there are several friends in the city who will be available.

He has two children, one lives on the west coast, and the other on the east coast, helping to go through decades of items, either to take as mementos, sell, or store.  The house occupancy of fifty years will be sold.  One of his children, a daughter, is having mixed feelings about not living closer to her father during this transition period, and his choice not to relocate close to her is causing some internal turmoil.  I’m sure she doesn’t believe anyone can care for her father as well as she.

The Walton’s didn’t have this problem.  Everyone lived together.  In the good old days when moms had to raise children and take care of the house, grandpa and grandma had several choices of where to spend their days of needed care.  Most had a handful, maybe two, of children, the mom’s of which rarely had outside jobs.  It was pretty well expected that the children would take care of their parents.  In fact, who else was there?

But times have changed.  The majority of households have both husband and wife working a job, which makes it near impossible to care for and raise children completely let alone care for grandpa or grandma.  We read often about sub-par care of the elderly in sup-par facilities that cannot, or will not, do all that is important for their residents.  Only the wealthy can afford “country club” retirement or assisted care facilities that can be relied upon fully.

I’m not sure if our friend chose not to move in with his daughter, or even if that was an option.  However, he did choose not to relocate close to his children.  I suspect that he values his independence so much that his choice to be as self-sufficient as possible perhaps means keeping a “safe” distance.  I don’t really know about that, so maybe I’m projecting a little.

Should the Lord tarry and we’re not called home quickly, we all face that season of life that our friend is going through, sooner or later.  I think the most difficult part has to be the loss of independence and the possibility of being a burden on family.  It was probably better in the “good old days” when as a result of much less communication little was known or heard about the trials and tribulations of family caring for the elderly.

Now days there are many articles, books and news bits helping the beleaguered and worn-out to survive the ordeal.  This could apply to both sides.  It doesn’t help the care receiver when such questions are posed as, “How can I survive caring for an elderly parent without losing my mind.”  This was asked of Focus on the Family, which gave a rambling answer of mostly psychology, pop-psychology and finally a brief Biblical perspective.  In just a brief cursory search, I found most to be about helping the caregiver.

It was interesting to find that China passed a law with legal charges against children who neglect their aging parents.  And though most have repealed such laws, there are 20 states that yet have laws on the books requiring children to provide a certain amount of support for aging parents.  Of course with Obama care (had to add this), if suspicions are correct, future care for “us guys” may be quite a surprise.  And if panels are convened, instead of the “Death” one, it might be a veiled “Don’t feed Panel.”  Oh well, most of us are overweight anyway.

Well, our transitioning member is a man of God, so his future is secure.  And, quoting again one of our dear friends who said, “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”  Now, if any of you young whippersnappers who have little interest in this, yet, have gotten this far, thanks for patronizing me.


  1. Wanda Graham says:

    I, for one, will miss our friend. He’s a kind, gentle person, who isn’t afraid to try something new, no matter how far into his “Season of Life” he may be. That’s commendable in my book. The Lord bless you and keep you, my friend. It’s been my privilege to know you.

  2. It wasn’t patronizing you to make it to the end, Dad. And by the way, you’re both coming to live with me on that day……..and you can bring all of your guitars & guns with you. 🙂
    LOVE YOU!!!

  3. Pat told me about your blog on Sunday. I’m so glad she did! I enjoyed reading your most recent post and seeing the picture on your homepage 🙂

    I’m so grateful to live in the same town with both of our moms. “Helpful” is not nearly the right word to describe the value they add to our family, and I hope we’re as generous in our time and service in the years to come as they’ve been.

    For now, they are VERY independent and self-sufficient, and often already have plans for their evenings when we call to invite them to dinner or an event. As long as their health allows for independent living, I can’t imagine them giving up their homes to move in with us, but I too have thought of other family situations where several generations live under the same roof. I think a shared life like that would add immeasurably to our character in general. Since we’ve lost both of our fathers, we recognize the treasure our moms are. We know the void we’ll face when they are no longer with us.

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