I must admit that neither my wife or i were not ready to be blindsided as we approached and entered into the years of our retirements. Having said that it is most likely not for reasons that you would have suspected! For the most part it is also not the big things that caught us off guard, but rather the things that we never really thought that much about.
For example if you are under the age of say 45, has anyone ever mentioned to You that you really do need to buy stock in Hallmark or American Greetings or any other of the various greeting card companies? Probably not but it seems to have come to us that as our demographic group of baby boomers ages, we seem to need an inordinate number of sympathy cards! Perhaps we should have been “stocking up” in the earlier years of our lives! When we just take in the number of funerals in the past 5 months we are amazed by the number of deaths that we have encountered.
Then there is the matter of how we have been blindsided by the time that we spend commuting to, waiting for and being seen by medical professionals of a variety of disciplines!, Eye doctors, physicians, specialists, Lab Technicians X-ray Technicians, Nurse Practitioners, Skin Specialists, well you get the idea! Sometimes the best laid plans get bumped aside to take care of some issue or problem! Most of those are relatively minor, thank God, but just the same it still can end up being a two or three hour interruption to one’s day! By the way did anyone tell you when you were younger, that despite the fact that both you and your spouse have been driving for at least 45 to 50 plus years, that most likely only one of you will be the primary driver because of some medical condition? Of course that may not be what will be your personal experience, but for many that is actually the case. So when that happens, it isn’t just one person that heads off to an appointment, but it is rather both of you that are heading out together! Such is the case. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a problem to be of service to one another, but it is just one of those “things” that one really never anticipates!
Of course there are also some of the major surprises that come your way when you are least expecting it! You know the little things like having a parent move in with you because they need some level of assistance. Of course you are more than willing to do all that You can for the one that raised you, but what one gets most blindsided by is how the roles become reversed! And that happens often in the blink of an eye, both figuratively as well as literally. Where was it written that the mother would become the child and the child would become the mother? Neither my wife or I had read that part of our training manual as parents to our own kids. Oh and just in case you are curious about that, it is much more difficult to make the transition to become your parents parent! There ore a lot of boundaries that you never seem to really be aware of until the roles are reversed and the waters get kind of muddied. You know with issues of when does it become necessary for me to have to take my mother’s or father’s driver’s license away because they are just no longer safe on the road, DESPITE how excellently the drive (in their own mind) not to mention that they have been driving longer than you have been alive! I can assure you that the day that you have to make that decision will be a difficult day for you, because you are about to make a HUGE impact upon their lives! You are about to take away all of their freedom to come and go as they please!
So for all of my younger readers out there I want you to all be informed that there is a day that you are going to get blindsided by life! In the mean time I have one bit of advice. Start slowly buying and stocking up on sympathy cards at today’s prices and save yourself some money before inflation makes them more expensive! 😀
Make it a great day!
Larry A. Coates