Three Materialistic/Addicted, Unrealistic Old Parents
by Gen-X-er, Boomer Siblings
Nine years ago my father died quickly at age 82 after refusing to take Cumedin. One moment he was working in the yard, the next he was down and gone very soon after. I miss him. His exit is the kind my husband and I both want. He went with choice, dignity.
My mother is 89, refuses to move out of her filthy hoarder house. If I or any of my older siblings encourage change or try to reason with her she either lashes out in anger or isolates herself, stops answering the phone, etc.
She’s a bigot, paranoid, illogical, with diminished intelligence yet not to the point of being declared incompetent since she still feeds and cleans herself.
Had she not inherited a million or two she would’ve been a bag lady. She did nothing to take care of her aging parents (my aunt did), never worked after 1958, ran a squalid, neglectful home for us kids (me especially being the youngest) waltz into a fortune and as is her right, is spending it down.
My dear brother who lives closest to her spent years going to her house every weekend to clean, organize, straighten out her finances. She took him for granted and demonstrates caring more about junk than family.
He’s thrown up his hands up and has encouraged us to follow suit. We do what we can but she’s difficult, crazy and wants to do things her way, as always. Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle had familiar themes for me.
has no concept of personal responsibility as generational wealth has buffered her from the consequences of bad decisions. Longevity is in the genes so she’ll likely live to 100.
My husband’s parents? Both are 81, diabetic alcoholics. Father-in-law is 400-500 lbs, blind, has his mental capacity and is making strides to be more gentle on his sons (there were difficult years but it’s better now).
My mother-in-law isn’t obese but is not at all compliant with diet: on dialysis, diabetic, high cholesterol.
The two have ignored all encouragement from their sons to either downsize, go into assisted living or get health care workers in to help at home and to appointments.
They have plenty of money but see more value in spending on material things rather than properly carrying out the plan to "age in place". I feel bad for my husband and brother-in-law as their parents live in-between and dwell in indecisiveness: self-destructive choices yet relying on modern medicine to keep them going.
My husband and I talk about not wanting to live too long, euthanasia/assisted suicide or offing ourselves in some way when we’re old. How’s that for parental influence?
Final note: Never judge people for choosing not to have kids. You don’t know what kind of childhood they experienced. Having the self awareness to know you lack skills and role models is an unrecognized gift to children, society, the world. The best thing I did for my potential children is not bring them into my emotionally frail orbit and our family circuses.