That Depends…


Hubs and I have been put on notice.

We went out to dinner with Son#2 who also lives in Atlanta. He is #2 strictly because he is our second son, born 18 months after Son#1. Son#2 in no way alludes to his position in our hearts and affections.

Although after last night, we may revisit that.

After some discussion about a class Hubs was taking in a seniors continuing education program at nearby university, my younger son made an announcement. I could tell that he had been thinking about this for a while and was waiting for the “perfect time” to bring it up.

Not sure he got the timing quite right.

He told us that it would be best if we found an senior living facility to move to sooner rather than later where we could get involved in “activities and arts & crafts.” He cautioned us no to wait too long. He said he didn’t want us to insist on living in our house until we got “old and bitter, and then fall on the floor and poop all over.”

Yes – those were his exact words. You can’t make this sh*t up.

No pun intended.

Hubs and I burst out laughing. It was just so unexpected and graphic. He was laughing too.

When the belly laughs subsided, he assured us that we were a “long way away from getting to the point of pooping all over.” We must be a bunch of middle schoolers…everybody started laughing again.

We moved on to other topics, which with Son#2, is always interesting. Since he was little, he’s always had strong opinions about things (translation, he was a pain in the arse a good deal of the time…) That hasn’t changed. But at least now he has the maturity and wisdom to select his words and timing, except when he’s talking about us falling down and pooping all over.

But it got AGMA thinking…

When is the right time to give up your home for an alternate living situation due to aging issues/concerns?

We may not be as far away from that as Son#2 thinks.

Hubs is afflicted with that $^#%@%*& neurological disorder. It’s robbing him of the use of his legs. We live in a 4 story townhouse.


And he has to be very careful going up and down all those steps because the weakness in his legs causes him to lose his balance easily.  He almost tripped this morning.

While we may not be ready for a senior living situation quite yet, we may not be that far away from moving to one level living.

AGMA’s father believed in reactive crisis decision making. And because he was an absolute monarch in a kingdom of two, my poor, sweet step-mother had to go along with whatever he said.

After my step-mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1990, we lobbied very hard to have them move closer to us after they sold their home. They lived a 4 hour drive away with no family close by. Not really easy or convenient for us to pop by… We got a realtor involved to try to find a place that they (my father) liked in Cincinnati (where we lived at the time.)

In the end, they (my father) decided to stay where they were, 228 miles away, and rent a townhouse.

Then my father promptly had a nervous breakdown due to the stress of trying to care for my step-mother, and had to be hospitalized.

Within 3 weeks, we moved my father to Chicago with my sister to recover after his release, moved my step-mother to Cincinnati to live with us, packed up their townhouse and had movers put it in storage. And that was just the beginning of some pretty major changes/upheavals in their/our lives brought on my father’s refusal or inability to admit they needed to live nearer to family.

Needless to say, AGMA was close to a nervous breakdown after it was all said and done…

I DO NOT want to do that to my children. I truly want to recognize when it’s time to throw the cards in and give up being lady of the manor.

That will be hard.

Lady AGMA’s had a manor to rule over since we moved into our first house 40 years ago.

But part of not aging gracefully is not being a major pain in the arse to your children as you age. Just a little nagging one…

Just enough to let them know you’re still around.

AGMA has to believe that no matter what living situation we’ll find ourselves in, that I’ll continue to be a crusader for coloring outside the lines and laughing as much as possible.

And tattoos.

And using colorful language.

And young men in spandex.

Pass the Depends!

35 thoughts on “That Depends…

  1. I’m smiling. Yes I am. After 6 days with 4 and 5 year old great nieces, I am up to speed on poop jokes and butt jokes.

    Sorry about your husband’s condition. That, no doubt, makes multi story living a challenge.

    My dad (90) and his wife (75) are living in their home. Despite what the calendar says, he is in better shape than she. Dementia and multiple health problems have resulted in him taking care of her.
    Fortunately, of the 7 kids in the blended family, 3 live close by and 2 (Me being one of the 2) are willing to make the many hours trip back to help out when needed. Not too bad when you spread the support out among many kids, grandkids and spouses.
    Different situation for us. We have only one son, and like you, don’t want to be a burden. That’s part of the driver behind our downscaling and shedding “stuff”. The coming years are going to be interesting, but like you, oh soul sister, I’m determined to make the most of this wild ride.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ah yes…poop and butt jokes are VERY popular with the 5 to 8 year olds! Lucky you! 😉
      So happy that your 90 year old dad is in such great shape AND that there is so much support close by. That makes a huge difference! He will stay healthier longer if he can get the help he needs to care for his wife.
      The multi-story living has actually been good for Hubs. It’s exercise that his atrophying muscles need. But I see a date not too far off where he just won’t have the leg strength to go up the stairs.
      We both have tickets to ride so let’s get on it!!


  2. Definitely the hardest of decisions to make for a couple, and not one that can be decided at one restaurant meal certainly! I remember my dad being 100% against it… until he had time to think about it on his own. These things need to marinate, and I hope you and Hubs have plenty of time to sit and discuss it. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m the marinator. He’s the ‘if I ignore it, it will go away’ type. I already know that we’ll be putting our home on the market in the next year or so, and I’m slowly getting “stuff” fixed up. Since I’m the one that always has to do the heavy lifting, I’ll just tell him that I’m tired of dragging the cat litter up 2 flights of stairs! And actually, I am… Thanks for sharing your dad’s experience Marty. He sounds like he is/was a realist. My dad was not (he was more the ‘ignore it’ type like Hubs) and we all paid the price. 😦


  3. There is a lot to be said for single level living. There is also the possibility of just renumbering son #2 to #9 or something. The alliterative is to distract son #2 with insanity. Ask him if he’ll house sit while you’re taking sky diving lessons or if he’ll go to the airport with you to pick out a new air plane, something from the experimental area perhaps. Or perhaps something less expensive like taking juggling classes and learn how to juggling kitchen knives.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Hubs & I have already had a conversation like this (not the pooping part). We downsized but are still in a 3-floor space… yup, lots of steps. We were clear with each other that this is probably a 10-year home. After that we think we’ll need either a single story or some type of senior living assistance. When we were looking at sea living places for his sister (who moved into one last year), we had a few that we said might be nice for when we were “ready”. Having no kids making suggestions, it will be up to us to decide when that moment is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have learned two things as I have aged: Gravity has gotten stronger and the ground is farther away. Your humor over your situation helps to take away the sting of reality. I hope that you and Hubs are able to settle into a comfortable solution.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. There is no doubt that the subject of when to “downsize”/relocate/etc is a topic of conversation in our crowd, especially as we watch others making that decision. Most people say that you’ll know when it’s time. I can’t tell for sure if your son was serious or joking. I do know that if one of our sons were to make that suggestion, which I’ve been told other people’s kids have done, I would be very unlikely to react well! 😄

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey Jane! Thanks so much for your comment! You kinda have to know Son#2 and his thought process. And his heart. I highly doubt he would not be there to help us. But he does have some “interesting” ideas that he doesn’t hesitate to share with us. The best was that we should cut Hubs offending leg off and replace it with one of those new ‘blade’ legs. We just stared at him with our jaws wide open… We just had no words. He’s a character indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Seriously, arts and crafts? Like around Christmas time you and Hubs will be gluing cotton balls on a construction paper Santa’s beard? I mean a single level home sounds reasonable but leave out the macaroni necklaces already!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. We moved from a big three-story house on a big sloping lot to one story house almost three years ago, trying to anticipate our needs. I think this house will work for another 20 years. I may be ready for assisted living by then. I’m 68 now.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ya’ll actually sound like you plan for the future! How novel! Hubs is more a fly by the seat of his pants kinda guy. It’s worked for most of our lives, but I’m thinking that we really DO need a plan at this point in our lives. I’m working on it… Arts and crafts may or may not be included!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My husband and I moved to FL at age 59 1/2 in the face of the economic realities of retirement. Older aging issues only came to mind when I declared that I wanted to buy a house that either of us could choose to stay in alone. The first time that thought popped out of my mouth it surprised me, but I liked the way it sounded so I kept saying it. But I was just being adorable, I didn’t expect it to happen. And definitely not so soon. 3 1/2 years of living here on my own and I’m surprised to say that it’s more to take care of than I thought. But I recognize that I’m incredibly lucky to have made this move with my husband, that has been a blessing. I have a friend who has been left in a huge house that is too big and expensive to run for her to stay, and she will have to sort through 48 years of marriage and make a decision over every single thing, what to keep, what to get rid of. To have had to do that on my own would have been so much harder. I was lucky…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sounds like you made your own ‘luck’ by being very practical. I’m so sorry you lost your husband so soon… But it’s lovely not to have those regrets isn’t it? And I’m sorry for your friend. We have moved 6 times since 2003 so have gotten rid of A LOT. But we still have WAY too much. Strangely enough, most of it’s mine. He keeps very little extraneous stuff. I’m the problem child…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the recommendation and warning! My step-mother was in nursing care in a memory facility for something like 8 years so I am familiar with the “falling down and pooping” scenario! She was the longest lived resident there when she passed away and the staff just loved her (after her Alzheimer’s got so bad that she calmed down. For a while she was a wild woman!)


  10. Oh AGMA, I am sorry your hubs is having those issues. I hope you can figure out the best possible living arrangements for the two of you. These are difficult things to ponder and even harder to be proactive about, but I agree, being proactive beats being unprepared to cope.
    Many wishes for your continued health and longevity and for a gracious life for the two of you as you move forward. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my gosh Ilona…that was a beautiful blessing that you bestowed on us! Thank you so much! It touched my crusty old AGMA heart…

      And in my mind, proactive is the only way to go! Maybe not with the Arts and Crafts stuff quite yet. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t know if it was fate or what that I just chanced upon this blog….it actually put my troubled thoughts to rest….(and here I was thinking I was the crazy one here)….I am all of 38 years with 1 kid (late arrival)….and yes I have this tendency to think about what will happen 10 or 15 years down the line (sometimes makes me go nuts and the hubby bonkers ;)) …. You are spot on when you say that “part of not aging gracefully is not being a major pain in the arse to your children as you age. Just a little nagging one…”…..totally agree with you, cause that’s what I think too….I see my mom (all of 80 years) struggling to come to terms with her aging and her medical conditions….stubborn as a mule, she will not budge from her home neither will she allow anyone to stay with her to help assist her….a major problem, as she is prone to falling down and has a problem walking…..It’s a battle my big sister and I have with her every single day (me being 1000’s of miles away from home) and my sister being close to home , but still helpless cause of my mom’s stubbornness….
    Seeing that my sis and I have similar tendencies (genetics does play a role), we have decided to move into a retirement home when he hit the 60’s; so as to not be a pain in the butt for our children…..don’t get me wrong ….I do love my mom; but her stubbornness is taking a toll on everyone including herself….
    That being said I love your outlook on aging gracefully and yes I am going to put that down on my wish list or bucket list or whichever damn list life throws at me…..:)

    Liked by 1 person

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