Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I am a senior citizens with middle-aged children. While I was running around yesterday trying to get some of my personal business done such as changing my address from that of my son in Los Angeles to my current address here in Northern California and Christmas shopping for my grandchildren, I made a startling discovery. Part of being healthier for seniors is letting go of our grown-up children and letting them live their own lives. You would think that was a given, but for me it wasn't. It is a two-way street. They don't often want to give up their parents either as mine don't. It is healthier for both generations to do so.

By letting them go, I mean not letting them know what we think of their choices in life. I see them making mistakes, and I just have to put the magic glue on my lips and say nothing. They have to live their lives without input from the older generation. My mother knew better than to tell me what I was doing wrong for if she did, I would not speak to her. My children sigh and complain but they rebel instead of just picking up their marbles and leaving as I did. Rebelling is kicking up their feet and doing passive aggressive things as indicating that you don't know what you are doing or that they are right and you are wrong as teenagers used to do. They are middle-aged adults. They have children of their own. And me? I need to keep my mouth closed.

It is healthier for me to do it because I have my life to live. My grown up children keep getting into it. They need to see me as not able to do it although I am perfectly able to take care of myself at this time. Maybe I won't be later, but I am alright now. My doctor and I will make those decisions not them. My doctor thinks I am just fine. I survived in Korea alone and did it well. My mother lived her whole life on her own until she was 86 years old. She died while undergoing surgery to repair a knee. Yesterday, I made another appointment for another check-up and got my flu shot. I can take care of myself, at least for now.

Letting go of our children does not mean not loving them anymore. Far from it. It means loving them in a more unselfish way. It means being more confident that we can live alone and still find enjoyable lives as seniors and that those wonderful little children that used to cling onto our hands when we crossed the street are full fledged adults and have their own children to care for now. If things progress in a natural way, we will be leaving much sooner than they will, anyway, and they will have to get used to it anyhow.

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