Sunday, January 14, 2007

Let the Circle Be Unbroken

One of the most startling realizations this weekend was that most of these elderly people at the Selfhelp home wear diapers at night. They all seem to have their package of Depends in the closet. There’s no shame or embarrassment for many of them. It’s just like brushing their teeth to pull on diapers before going to bed.

It strikes me once again that getting old in many ways takes us back to a state of infancy. There’s the diapers. There are those that have to be fed. And others that must be wheeled around.

I’m trying to imagine what it must feel like to accept this return to infancy. Is it like the beginning of the end? Is it perhaps somewhat comforting as you remember being cared for as a small child?

I can see that the next few decades are going to bring with them these realizations that life is indeed one big circle and we’re on the leg that comes back to meet the beginning.


Anonymous David said...

you can depend on depends. i'm sort of looking forward to that bit of reassuring comfort. :-)

11:49 AM  
Blogger Wicked H said...

My 81 year old Father wears them but is extremely private about it. He never let's anyone of us take the trash out to the main garbage can in the garage. He also will take the garbage from the garage out to the dumpster at work rather than put it out on the curb twice a week. The behavior is even stranger knowing that he is a psychiatrist. Pride is pride...

3:42 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Yet another example of the Full Circle thing I was talking about recently. Guess it's just the way of the world.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had my druthers, I'd be like my 99 year old friend who is still driving her car, still doesn't need glasses or a hearing aid, still plants an enormous garden each year and puts up the produce, still ice fishes in winter, and has just bought a new house (she asked for a 30 year mortgage!).

Both of my folks died in their early sixties of cancer. I was only able to care for them for a short time. I never had to face the prospect of their long-term care. I hope I never have to face the prospect of mine, either...

6:35 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

D -- I'm glad you take the trash out in our house.

WickedH -- Bravo for your father. He sounds like one strong individual.

MOI -- You said it first.

Pauline -- Let's both be like your 99-year-old friend. I like that idea.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Pauline!

10:27 AM  
Blogger steve said...

You guys are so lucky to have her, and to have her in such a good place... I left a lengthier comment w/David that is meant for you as well...

3:19 PM  

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