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Getting Older and The Family That Could Care Less

Updated on May 8, 2017
MaggieMarie profile image

Biblical days saw respect for the elderly and older ones of the family. Today, we see a decline in the family unit; especially their care.

The Apology ----

I admit...I am venting here. I just hope that someone with aging or elderly parents or loved ones, realize that as we get older, we constantly think of our families. We remember the good times, and try to look past the bad ones, realizing that life is much too short to hold grudges.

However, sometimes, when the family doesn't care, it slaps us in the face. My husband is 15 years my elder. He has been ever faithful, loyal and loving. He cares about me, his family and life. Yes, I am venting, because I have nowhere else to vent.

Therefore, I am sorry if this is offensive or if you feel I am being unfair. These are my thoughts, my feelings and the pain I feel. I am sure that among all those getting older out there, that I am NOT ALONE! Children....all ages....respect your parents, love your parents. They gave you life and shared theirs with you.

The Arrangement

When people get married, usually in their younger years, they think that they will have a happy lfe, like the ones on television, where the children respect, love and really care about their parents as they get older.

I'm here to tell you...that is only a sitcom and doesn't really happen. The ratio for those type families is way lower than anyone of us would like to admit!

Even when parents divorce, they still care about their children. They cry, worry, support and are concerned beyond belief for the health and well-being of their children.

For myself.....I never had children. But, I married a most wonderful man when in my early 20's who had just gotten out of a marriage where the ex-wife believed that variety was the spice of life and decided she didn't like his spice anymore, and changed brands. I couldn't have children, but was excited at the prospect of having step-children that I could love and treat as my own. My husband loved his children dearly, but due to the ex-wife, his letters and phone calls were not to get through to his children. I watched many nights as he cried because he had 'lost' his children.

Afterwards, for many years, we paid for the children to visit us for 3 months each summer just so that we could be with them. As they grew older....they wanted nothing to do with that, except of course that the ex-wife decided she couldn't handle the daughter anymore and told us to come get her...or else! We dropped everything and drove 1600 round-trip over a weekend to move her in with us.

Time goes on.....they graduate high school, some get married, others develop problems. The married one moves close by, which elated us! Wow! Family! Grandkids! What more could we ask. Of course, she goes off the deep end, gets mixed up in drink and drugs and, after getting arrested and fined numerous times, decided that moving to another geographical location would be better. She then decided that we wouldn't be allowed to see our grandchildren for the next 11 years!

Do the other children help or feel an injustice being done to us? No. They feel we have no right.

The Next 15 Years or So....

After the daughter that decided we couldn't see the grandchildren divorced....our ex-son-in-law calls us and ask if we would like to see our Grandson! We were elated! After 11 years...a chance to see at least one of our grandchildren! As long as our son-in-law lived, he saw to it that an opportunity was made for us to share some time with our grandson...our granddaughter was in the custody of our daughter, and visits were not an option.

As time went on...things progressed with the other children, and we visited them, trying to build a relationship after it had been damaged by the ex-wife. It was tough, but we felt for several years that we were making ground. Then, our granddaughter gets pregnant at 14 after being abandoned by her mother......across the country. What do you do? We offered help. Being poor as church mice, we were willing to give everything we had to help her.

The 'family' decried our efforts...telling us to back off and leave it alone. Now...we are back where we started. Trying to do the right thing and being told at every turn, we are the problem.


Realization and beyond....

Let's make the long story shorter....

A child is born to a child. Five years and another child later, these children are in the custody of the state because they are abused. The five year old has to have every tooth in her head worked on extensively because of lack of care. She goes through dental surgery at the age of 5 to pull teeth, do root canals, caps and spacers because of neglect. The infant is the star of a home video that is placed on YouTube as the victim of vampires. To this day, he is terrified of Halloween, but, as he is placed back with the mother, is forced to partake of these horrors.

For over 2.5 years we took care of these children at the request of the state and our granddaughter. We nurtured them, taught them, cared for them and parented them. It took our granddaughter that long to realize that she needed them back because she couldn't hold a job to make a living and needed the income the state would give her. We got no help, financially or otherwise, from the otherwise rather well-off children that had abandoned us.

So, now, once again, the family has ostracized us for caring about the children. We have been told to keep away, mind our own business and that she is doing a 'wonderful job' of 'raising these kids'. It's o.k. for the children to share one room in a house with their mother. They sleep on the floor, and never know where they will be each night. One young one doesn't even know her as his mother.

We attempted a family dinner yesterday to attempt extending the olive branch and mend relations. Did anyone come?? Did anyone call?? Did anyone care??

If you are a parent...expect nothing in the future.

As for myself...If I sound angry, hurt or otherwise...maybe I am. I had no children, only step-children...step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. I love them all. I love them as they are my own. I also love my husband...a man who had his children taken from him. He didn't fight for the custody. Even when one would want to stay with us and not go back from a summer visit, he didn't want to fight or cause the children any pain. He stepped back and let the ex-wife decide...he kept the peace.

Now as he has gotten older, grayer and is living in the winter of his years, his children don't care about him. That hurts. Not just him, but me. I love him dearly and have been there through everything. All he wants is to know they care...not their love, he doesn't expect that anymore, but just that they care.

In today's society, this happens all too much. Parents who give their life for their kids and then are shoved aside like an old, discarded newspaper. I have no children, I have no one to care for me when I am old. But I'll be damned if my husband will be left alone! I am angry! He deserves better from his children. They owe me nothing, and I don't expect it! But I'll be damned if I let them hurt him again!

I hope one day, these children read this and recognize themselves. I hope you might realize the pain you caused your father who loved you very, very much. I hope you realized that in his retirement years, he took care of infants that couldn't take care of themselves and got no help from you..only ridicule.

So ... to my dear, darling husband of 35 years....I love you. You have dealt with your children, grand-children and great-grandchildren most admirably. You were there for them when they always needed you, and gave of yourself whenever they asked. You moved across the country, giving up your home and business, to help your son, only to be shunned away when he didn't need you anymore. We are one...forever and always...and I promise...I will always love and never will I leave you. You make me complete.

The Updated Version

On 12/23 I had a car accident that left me hospitalized and my husband without transportation. After frantically trying to reach my son, I was finally able to reach my husband and let him know of my situation.

He was able, that night to get a ride from a neighbor to the hospital. Thank goodness for good neighbors, as this one had dinner guests coming and left his home to help my husband!

Once I arrived at the hospital, my son called to let me know he got my message, asked me the situation and noted that he would probably see me later. I told him that was good as his father could use the support. This was the last we heard from him.....to date, 1/9/2013.

On the following day, my husband attempted calling his children to get a ride to the hospital to bring me necessary things and equipment that I needed. No one would respond. Finally, late that afternoon of 12/24, my husband began the 14 mile walk to the hospital. My husband is 72. He walked most of the way before he was picked up by a good samaritan and brought to the hospital. He stayed overnight with me until other arrangements could be made.

So, once again, family has proved useless to us. These children were not raised this way, but have become more interested in their own lives than that of helping others....let alone their own parents! It's sad when a workmate rents a car to loan us instead of our own children lifting a finger to help.

Society needs an overhaul!

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    • profile image

      Ghost32 4 years ago

      Great venting, MaggieMarie. Sounds like it was much needed.

      The picture you so vividly paint is all too common, though (fortunately) not a 100% thing. My parents, long gone now, were supported in every possible way by all three of us kids, so that generation is squared away. Of us three siblings, my two sisters both have children who are as devoted to them as anyone could ever want. My biological offspring have been estranged from me for decades, though fortunately I'm fine with that these days. (I wasn't, in the beginning.)

      My wife, disabled on a dozen fronts at age 61, has an eldest child who is voluntarily self-estranged, or at least mostly so. The middle girl loves her mother dearly but does get caught up in her own life to an impressive degree. Blessedly, her son, the baby of the bunch, lives just 3 miles down the road and treasures his Mom to the max.

      I'll be 70 this fall. By the time I was in my forties, I'd come to the conclusion that (for me and me only; I"m not preaching here) family has nothing to do with blood. It does for Pam, but I honor my "societal family obligations", if you will...but am closer to many an acquaintance met over the years than I am to some of my relatives.

      Not that this is all about me. It's your Hub and a good one, clear and emotionally honest. Not that we can expect society to get that "much needed overhaul" any time soon, but....

      Voted Up and More.

    • MaggieMarie profile image
      Author

      MaggieMarie 4 years ago from Western Washington - Puget Sound Area

      Thanks so much for your comment. I do know that there are those children out there that still care and love their parents. The way our generation was raised was to love and respect. Unfortunately, something was lost throughout the years. I am glad that your wife has someone in her life to care (other than you). It does make a difference.

      Best wishes to you and your wife.

    • cindi h profile image

      cindi h 4 years ago

      Maggie your beautiful story broke my heart! I am all about family and have raised my own children (three aged 18-20 &24) with the love and respect all humans deserve. I have truly been blessed with such caring loving children. You did the best you could with what you were handed, remember you did not have total control over every aspect of these children's lives. It sounds to me that their mother was a mother only in name. Trust me, these kids will one day know the pain and suffering they caused but you and your wonderful husband should have a clear conscience. I hope this venting has allowed you to let go, for your sake as well as your husbands. Hold on to the love you share with your husband and may you soon be healed.

    • inthenickoftime77 profile image

      inthenickoftime77 4 years ago from New Zealand, aka: Aotearoa, aka: The Land Of The Long White Cloud

      I feel for you Maggie & had a lump in my throat & tears in my eyes by the time I had finished this. It is so sad that you & your husband have had to experience such wilful neglect & hurt by your family, its not the way it should be. Thank god you have each other. Stay strong xx

    • DebMichaels profile image

      DebMichaels 3 years ago

      I enjoyed your story Maggie! A good bit of it sounded like events and people in my own life/ my parents life. So many selfish people out there who are only interested in "themselves" and what's in it for 'me'! When it comes down to it, we really have nobody in this world! I'm sorry your husband's children were so ungrateful. You do have each other, and that is a blessing because his children are just waiting to get their hands on what's left. It's unbelievable that people can be so cruel that is except when they need something. God Bless you:)

    • MaggieMarie profile image
      Author

      MaggieMarie 3 years ago from Western Washington - Puget Sound Area

      Thanks for the kind remarks. We do have some degree of happiness in our family though. We have a wonderful grandson, who recognizes the iniquities of the family and has stuck by us (even though living quite far away), and we have our great-grandchildren who love us dearly (even though still quite young). Perseverance and a tough skin sometimes work. Meanwhile, families dealing with these situations should vent sometimes to release those pressures and regain the balance in life.

      And, you are correct. We do still have each other and we enjoy a VERY STRONG BOND, one that can't be broken.

      I wish you the best in your journey of life. Our life has been a good one, as we have each other, the few special ones of the family, our spirituality and love. It is a shame that our society fosters such disrepect for family though.

    • profile image

      Michelle 2 years ago

      I am so sorry for what has happened to you, I wish there was a way for so many of us to get together to be each others support. My family was horrible to me as a child so I taught my children not to be like my siblings. In 2010 I was diagnosed with MS, when I asked my very single daughter that had no obligations if she would come help me if I needed her, she said that my husband and I had enough money and to hire a nurse. I was crushed. What has happened to our society that our children feel so entitled yet show no regard for us as human beings. I am still hurt in 2015.

    • MaggieMarie profile image
      Author

      MaggieMarie 2 years ago from Western Washington - Puget Sound Area

      Michelle, I'm sorry I didn't see you post until today. We've been moving, and as one would guess, with no help from the family. I'm sorry to hear that you also have experienced societies result of 'Me-ism', which is what it really is. We live in a generation that says 'hey, take a look at me and all the great things I am doing in the world', but then turn to the ones who gave them life and say 'get over it'. We have been fortunate to be a large part of the lives of our young great-grandchildren and have worked very hard with them to impress the need of family, compassion and love. From there, we can only pray. Best wishes and always remember somewhere are those who care.

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