Does ‘age’ ever really matter?
It does not seem to matter what age our children reach, as parents we seem to never be able to completely ‘step back’ and let go. This particular thought came to light a week or go ago when a dear 91 year old Mother was worrying about the wellbeing of her 70 year old daughter. Was the daughter sick? – No! Was she experiencing financial difficulties? – No! Was there some other difficulty in her life? – No.
The Mother was concerned because her 70 year old daughter had decided to travel the world and climb a mountain in Brazil. She wanted to do something that had been a dream all her life. She had raised 5 children, suffered a serious illness, left a widow at a young age, and worked 3 jobs to put her children through University. She felt that her turn had now come.
So why was the Mother worrying so much about the exciting adventure her daughter was about to undertake? It was all about what ‘others’ would think. A few well meaning friends had said they thought the adventure was dangerous, others mentioned the amount of hard earned cash that would need to be spent, then there were the majority who simply believed that this 70 year old daughter was simply ‘too old’.
When does one become too old? Undoubtedly, it’s a personal belief and/or feeling. There are some very ‘young’ 70 year olds as well as those of 70 who believe their life has lost its meaning and they can no longer follow their dreams. Admittedly, health often impacts on our body as we age and this can restrict us in many ways but there always seems to be some kind of option available to us to get on and enjoy our senior years.
It may very well be that climbing a mountain is not for everybody nor is tending to a magnificent vegetable garden with great care. Coffee with friends can become tedious, as can the afternoon at the club. Our children may have moved away and we miss seeing our grandchildren on a regular basis or on the other hand we may be relieved not to have a continual stream of well meaning family on the doorstop that no doubt brings extra cooking and cleaning chores.
Whatever our age, we still have hopes and dreams. Maybe if we are in a position where we have an aged mother who still likes to ‘parent’ we should be so grateful that we have someone we love dearly who cares. I wish our mountain climber all the best for a safe and enjoyable trip and I am sure her Mother will look forward to sharing her dreams with her through stories and photographs when she returns.