New York City 364 199x300 POSITIVE PARENTING   IM NOT SURE BUT I HAVE HOPEJust recently I was told that Vincent Fleming had passed in the beginning of June. Vincent was not a movie star or a music mogul. He was just an average guy who loved life and loved his family.

I first met him in 1989 or 1990.  He lived on a street that I deliver to for the US Postal Service. He shared an apartment with his mother and two sisters. He was always very pleasant and always had something positive to say. He will be truly missed.

At the end of June my Dad celebrated his 89th birthday. Anybody who reaches that mile stone deserves to be applauded. He was a bus driver for the NYC Transit Authority. He has been retired now for27 years. Throughout his life he was always been a guy who stayed very active but for the past few years his step has gotten a little bit slower. He moves around now with the help of his cane or his walker. His mind is still sharp and there are times when he gives me a piece of it when he lets me know about something that he thinks I should do differently. He and my Mom have been married for over 60 years.

I now live with him and it is my responsibility to make sure his remaining years are comfortable.  I schedule and go with him to his many doctor appointments. In fact since we have some of the same doctors, I kill two birds with one stone by getting examined myself. There is no doubt that his longevity is directly related to him taking the condition of his health very seriously. That is an example I plan to follow.

It’s not easy all the time. There are moments when I have to fight with him to get him to eat and take his medicines.  It is not uncommon for folks at this age to become stubborn and very set in their ways.

Some may see what I do as burden. Being a care giver can be very difficult but I take great pride in making sure the quality of his life remains high. After all it’s the least I can do for a guy who has devoted his whole life to his family. We would be no where if it were not for him.

For some getting older brings on many concerns.  I can understand just how scary it can be as one gets older. I will turn 61 this year and although I’m a little ways away from needing a cane I’m not moving as fast as I used to. I hope that I am blessed to reach his age.

In the next few years I will begin the process of retirement. I’ve been working for the US Postal Service for 27 years. My time working here is the same amount of time that my dad has been retired. In fact it was him who helped me move from Cleveland back to New York City to pursue this job. It was a necessary move since there was a very depressed job market in North East Ohio.

Since retirement will be a new chapter in my life, I’m not sure of what that will be like. I’m not ready to completely shut myself down. Spending my days sitting in a rocking chair is not what I envision for myself. I also don’t think I could afford to do nothing. The rising costs of everyday living have forced many of us at retirement age to have to continue working. There are many of my co-workers who have not retired for this same reason.

As a positive parent I can’t help but wonder what the future will be like when my kids reach retirement age. I think I’m pretty lucky. I was fortunate enough to get a good job. I am even more fortunate to have a job that I really enjoy doing. I also have a great deal of gratitude for my employer. It is through their EAP program that I was able to get sober and have the opportunity to live a good life.

 Over these years that I have worked, I have met a lot of wonder people. These include my co-workers and the people that I have delivered mail to for the past 27 years. This has been a very pleasant work experience.

I want my kids to have equally pleasant work experiences. I can’t pick and choose their jobs for them but I do ask them constantly about their interests. I feel it is more important to do something that you have a passion for than to do something just for the money. I also feel that if your passion is strong enough the money you are seeking will come.

I think I have found a way to continue having a pleasant work experience. I know what I will be doing after I retire. This blog has become my passion. Along with my other blog, I don’t think I’ll need that rocking chair.

The news that a friend has died is sad. At the same time the continued life of a family member has brought hope that life can move on positively.

I’m the guy whose glass is always ½ full.




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