Aging without Grace

I have a relative of sorts whom I have known for quite some time and once in a while I stop to see the aging couple. This particular couple were married long after their children were out of the house and likely themselves approaching retirement. What I have noticed over the years is how the husband has become more and more aggressive and possessive towards his dear sweet wife. I look back on the years that I have known them and I would say without a doubt that the only reason he married her was to have a live-in maid. I don’t think she even realizes how much she has compromised herself and self-worth. It’s sort of the frog in the beaker of water under a slowing heating burner. The frog continues to acclimate to the heat and won’t jump out and eventually allows itself to boil to death. I see this situation more and more each year with clients and customers. It seems there are two distinct groups of elderly in Mason City. One group grows more and more loving and caring towards each other and with the other group we find one of the spouses growing more and more mean spirited and controlling with his or her partner. I had an uncle that endured some of the most painful years with his wife and spoke nearly nothing about what was really going on within the household until years after her death. I’m not really sure what causes this wide chasm between behaviors. I had an opportunity to visit with a nurse yesterday who works with in-home care and he said, “If I find even the slightest of signs of abuse, I report it.” He went on to say, “The aged deserve to be treated with respect and if there is someone or something creating a Hell on earth, then I will do what I have to do to stop it.” I said to him on a lighter note, “I have promised myself that I will be the most delightful ninety something person on this earth; And if I am not, I want to be checked out as soon as possible.” I have my plan already in place to age with grace.

Joe Chodur

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