New York City 332 199x300 GETTING OLDAs a kid growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I never thought about what it would be like to get older.  During those times all I could think about was playing basketball and having fun.  I had those experiences because my positive parents made sure that was all I had to think about.  I feel really blessed that I was allowed to have a childhood because I knew of other kids who didn’t have one.  They, because of their situation, were forced to be adults before they were ready.

Over those years I’ve seen and thought about my parents as being the strongest people in the world.  My dad would tell us about the terrible times he had living in the racist south. He would also tell us about the good times.  My mom would tell us similar stories about growing up in New Jersey. Throughout it all I never envisioned that my parents would get older. They are now 86(dad) and 81(mom). I quests I have been in some sort of denial.  The reality is that I am also getting older (now 57).

The older I get I find that I have more similarities with my parents than differences.  If you told me that would be the case 40 years ago, I would have bet my entire pack of gum (I didn’t have any money then) that could not have happened.  I often wonder how my kids see me. Will they bet their entire pack of gum that they will not be like me? I feel it’s inevitable that we become the product of the adults (most of the time they’re our parents) who we’re around when we are young.

Recently my role as a son has been changed to that of a caregiver.  I make sure all the medicines they take are up to date, I pay some of their bills and I go to see them as often as I can. It is painful watching them go through this stage of their lives but, it’s an honor to be able to help them.  My sister, my brother and I get a great deal of pleasure making sure they’re OK. We all feel that we owe them.  These are the same two people who stood by us during our tough times and it is our job not to abandon them now.


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