Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How “OLD” is Old?

Citrus Heights, CA – Sister’s House

Old Woman Rocking

This past weekend my sister Sandy and husband Arny, who's backyard we are able to have the motorhome in while in the Sacramento area, went to the Reno Air Races.  My other sister Patti and I took care of Arny’s mother…she is nearly 95 years old.  Euleda can doing little for herself.  She needs help sitting up, can’t stand up so is transferred to a Wheel Chair.  She needs help getting on the potty, taking baths, getting dressed, and even eating.  She can hardly see, can hardly hear…but has much of her other senses, is not in pain, but also cannot remember things without many reminders. 

Reno Air RaceThey left around 10 am on Friday, and returned around 8 pm on Sunday.  A caregiver helps Monday through Friday from 8:30-1:30.  It takes two to get her on the toilet, to get her to bed.  She gets up around 8:30, back to bed at 1:15, up again around 3:30, bed for the night around 7:00.  Same thing day in and day out. This past weekend, Patti and I gave Sandy and Arny a long overdue break.

Euleda can still have a conversation…can answer from simple questions to more complex questions…although the latter may need a bit of help to give her recall.  She likes to talk about days long past...but in the middle of the conversation she might forget what she is talking about.  I sat with her on Saturday and Sunday morning while Patti did some errands.  The TV was going despite the fact she cannot see much of what is going on with the TV.  I was petting Skruffy at one point and asked if she could see Skruffy sitting on my lap.  When she said yes, I can see you petting her, I asked what Skruffy looked like.  “A blob of black fur” is what I think she said.  Patti brought her two dogs over for short visits, and she said, “Are those blond dogs yours Patti?”  On Sunday she asked, "Do you have curly hair?", and I replied that my ponytail is certainly curly.  She loves Chocolate, and when her great granddaughter (Arny’s granddaughter) came over Sunday for a visit, I put out a chocolate truffle which I cut into four pieces.  Brittney did not want any, so it was all for Euleda.  After Brittney left there was still one piece sitting there in front of her.  She could not see it…but when I told her she still had a piece left, she knew right where to grab it with her left hand, the only hand that still functions completely.  At one point Sunday she made the comment that she wished she had a small computer.  Thinking she was serious, I told her that her hands probably did not function good enough to operate a computer.  "Well, I doubt I can see the screen either!"  It wasn't that she "WANTED" a computer...what she wanted was the ability to use and enjoy a computer.

Old Man Computer

It is inevitable that unless we die early due to bad health, an accident, natural disaster, or evil doing…we will all get old. Dad turns 90 next year, mom 88…and it is there 70th anniversary too.  They live in assisted living, but pretty much can take care of most of their needs.  Both still enjoy getting on the computer…dad loves his Android phone.  They walk, but both use a walker or a cane or a "GoGO" type of scooter. They go on outings with other people in the Assisted Living place...and love to go out to lunch or dinner with family or friends.  They wish they had a car still, but they gave that up last year when they moved into the Assisted Living facility.  Dad has outlived both of his parents who both died in their 60’s (and in the 60’s).  Mom is reaching the age of her mother when she passed, and her father died when mom was a teenager.  One has to go back to dad’s 2nd Great Grandfather to find an ancestor who lived to be over 90…and he lived to be 96 years old, born in Nova Scotia, died in California….1801-1897, nearly the entire 19th century.

I read many RV blogs, and many times I heard it said, “You need to travel while you can…”  I envy some of the younger folks who are traveling in their 30’s.  I wonder about some of the kids who are being home schooled as they travel with their parents from state to state, and even into Mexico and Canada…will these kids travel when they get older?  Or will they settle into the typical life of getting a job, buying a home, etc.??  I am so grateful that Marcia and I are able to travel as we do…get to see so many places, get to travel to Sacramento to visit family and help out where we can.  At some point, the travel will wind down…but there will be so many memories.  This does not scare me…but losing those memories...having to be totally dependent upon others for EVERYTHING certainly does…as it does for many of us.  There comes a point when death is truly ones friend…I know Euleda is at that stage now.  She has commented to me a few times these past few years that she does not know why God keeps her here still…I wonder if any of us will ever know and understand why.  I know one thing for sure…Patti, Marcia and I all enjoyed every minute we had with Euleda over the weekend.  We laughed, we talked, we shared, we ate, we had a good time.  She is a remarkable lady…when the time comes we only hope it is painless for her.  And I know that when that time comes, she will be missed.


  1. It's sad to see people go downhill like that. My friends dad lived to 107. I think keeping your mind as active as possible helps out a lot. You are so lucky to have a large family who helps in the care. Good for you for giving them a break!!

    1. Thanks...in another 30 years it could be you or me...makes one wonder.


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