My parents are young and healthy. They each have their own homes and are still working full time. It’ll be a while before they retire, go blind and lose their driver’s licenses.
I often worry about the future.
Is it really the responsibility of your children to take care of you when you’re old? What about people without children? Who’s supposed to take care of them?
A lot of folks think, yes, children are supposed to take care of their aging parents. You know, payback time.
All of our friends and family know that once our son finds his path in life, my husband and I are headed down to Key West, Fla., to live a different life, inside a boat.
Some laugh and say, “Yeah, right.” Some say, “I wish I were that rich.” Some just simply give us a doubtful look.
Thing is, we don’t have to prove to anyone that we are making our dreams a reality. They’ll find out when the time comes. Moving away for a new adventure takes courage; we’ve got plenty. By the way, you don’t have to be a millionaire to live in Key West, especially not on a boat.
We are both excited for the future, but one thing always crosses my mind … the parents.
How are we going to help our elderly parents from 1,600 miles away?
I joke with mine about moving down with us. My dad seems to like the idea, although he often reminds me to “Just put me in a home with some good-looking women and I’ll be fine.”
My mom, not so much. She stubbornly says, “I was born and raised in Kansas City, and I’ll die here, probably alone.”
Are daily phone calls going to be enough to let my mother know I really do care?
My in-laws are slightly more secure, having three children to divide up the care-taking. Me? After my sister passed away 16 years ago, I’ve become an only child.
Is it normal to feel guilty for wanting to move and start a new exciting life away from family? Should we even feel guilt?
When I think about our own son taking care of us when we’re old, it makes me sad. He doesn’t need to return the favor; he’s already done so by being a good kid. I don’t want him to not live out a dream because I can’t go to the bathroom on my own.
If anything I just want him to make sure wherever we are, we are happy and hopefully not being neglected.
I realize finding a nice assisted-living home comes with a hefty price tag, more costly than living on a boat in Key West, for sure. We should not only be saving up for our 36-foot trawler, but also for a nursing home.
In a perfect world we’ll be able to persuade both sets of parents to move down to paradise, so that on our way to the dock we can swing by to visit with a hurricane and some key lime pie.
We don’t live in a perfect world now, do we?
As far as grandkids go, hello, mine get to come see Grandma Tasha and Grandpa Luke in Florida!