Saturday, February 18, 2006

Aging not so gracefully

We all age, it's the only thing in this life that is certain! Why, though, do some age with ease and confidence and others become bitter and twisted or just so pig-headed that they forget all self-respect. I'm not talking about people with altzheimers or with the common problems that can accompany old-age. I'm talking of sheer belligerence and lack of thought for anyone else bar themselves.

I have an Aunt Betty who at 82, is the same age as my mother but who is so bitter and twisted that nobody wants to know about her, not even her own children. The only one of her 5 children who talk to her is her son, who is not exactly a beacon of humanity; the others don't even send her a Christmas card. It sounds so sad, yet she has had plenty of opportunities to try and make amends for being a thoughtless mother but is just not able to get off that high horse. Is that what pride and intolerance can lead to? Total isolation.

My Mother-in-Law is another case of pig-headedness that causes us all a great deal of strain and anguish. With her inability to accept help until it is almost too late this family is suffering unacceptable amounts of stress. I have often made excuses for her, in that she has had a lot of tragedy in her life, but many others have too and are only too thankful to accept unconditional help. Help that will ease everybody's stress levels.

The similarities between these two women are not striking, except for the fact that they are both control freaks. Is that what it is all about? Control! Even when they are losing their own self control they will try to hang on to that last vestige of power....... Control over others. Even up to the point that it will go beyond the grave. Both talk incessantly of what they will leave behind when they die. They use it as a weapon for stirring up trouble or as a means of getting people to do their bidding. Telling each individual exactly how much they are going to get when they eventually snuff it! I don't CARE!!!!! The money or properties don't mean that much to me and even less when I see the price that is being asked! I cannot say that it isn't nice to receive gifts or that I couldn't do with more money. What I can say is , not at any price.

I don't know yet how I will be when or if I reach their age but I know that just now I am grateful for all the help I can be given, whether it's with the children or work or just my insane head at times, and I hope I have enough humility to accept that whatever happens to me when I'm older will be made a lot easier and more bearable if I can keep my family close to me.