Push me off a cliff

My wife and I have a bit of dark humor surrounding maturing, and she often jokes about if ever getting to a point in her life when she can’t live independently and needs care. Her exact words are: just push me off a cliff. Unfortunately it became all too apparent when visiting my father that getting old is not for the faint of heart.

It is clear to everyone in our family that my father needs to be in an assisted living community, but he flatly refuses to move anywhere. What is even more concerning is that he continues to drive at risk to both himself and others. He is blind in one eye and has considerable trouble seeing anything close up or far away with his other eye. Once a month he gets a painful shot to retain some eyesight in his one good eye. After taking him to the eye doctor, I learned that while he is technically legal to drive with his one good eye, it is not recommended. He’s been playing fast and loose with the facts and claimed his ophthalmologist does an eye test every month and sends that information into the department of transportation to enable him to continue to drive. Not even remotely true. Yes, they do the eye test, but not for the purpose of clearing him to drive. That must be done by a licensed optometrist. Unfortunately my father is stubborn and will not stop driving. It is heartbreaking watching his decline. While I understand this loss of independence is horrible, I worry about the consequences of his refusal to give up driving. I would definitely not want to be in his position, but may be at that point someday unless my wife kindly pushes me off a cliff.

Recently I started writing a book about a mature couple buying a ghost town and developing a lesbian retirement community. I want to make this a light-hearted book like pretty much every book I have ever written, with sprinkles of more serious messages. Hopefully, my recent visit with my father will not color my vision, but allow me to work through my thoughts on watching a parent age and deteriorate. Perhaps I can still address those issues with humor and grace. We shall see…If you want to see how I address other social issues in my books, feel free to click the links below! And, of course if you want to complete Jae’s book challenge and need a Dystopian novel, The Others is perfect to fit the bill. Don’t forget to check out the fabulous Affinity Rainbow Publications book A Walk Away by Lacey Schmidt.

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7 thoughts on “Push me off a cliff

  1. It’s a tough topic. My dad, in his last years got dementia. I got to see him a year before he passed away. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are the worse. They aren’t the person you know. My mom passed away this past January. She fell, broke her hip, The doctor said they had to do surgery or she’d be in pain all the time. Went into the hospital, got Covid and passed away 3 weeks later. They did live very long lives though. My own bout with mortality was/is not necessarily a rude awakening, nor one of regrets, more like a realization that a life well lived is well , well lived. Can’t do more than that. Also can’t put off things that one thinks there’s time for. There isn’t.

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  2. I went thru a similar situation with my dad many years ago but my concern with him was based on his drinking combined with the advanced age. I’d heard from my brothers how dangerous his driving would be, even when sober. I’d made up my mind that I was going to contact the local police to see what I could do about it before he injured or killed someone else. I couldn’t live with the thought that he might take another life. But before I could do anything he had a solo accident and while I don’t remember the specific details, he never was able to drive again. These situations suck for all involved.

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  3. I faced a similar situation with my dad many years ago only his driving impairment was related to continual drinking over the decades. I had no contact with him during these later years due to my work on healing from abuse issues but my brothers told me how bad his driving had gotten, weaving all over the roads, bouncing off curbs… and that was when he was sober! I was terribly concerned that he would injure or kill some innocent bystander so I made up my mind that I was going to call the local police to see if anything could be done to stop him. But before I had a chance to do that, he had a solo accident and while I don’t remember the exact details, he was thankfully never able to drive again! These situations are difficult for all involved. Wishing you the best.

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  4. I faced a similar situation with my dad many years ago only his driving impairment was related to continual drinking over the decades. I had no contact with him during these later years due to my work on healing from abuse issues but my brothers told me how bad his driving had gotten, weaving all over the roads, bouncing off curbs… and that was when he was sober! I was terribly concerned that he would injure or kill some innocent bystander so I made up my mind that I was going to call the local police to see if anything could be done to stop him. But before I had a chance to do that, he had a solo accident and while I don’t remember the exact details, he was thankfully never able to drive again! These situations are difficult for all involved. Wishing you the best.

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