March 20, 2018 at 7:24 am #743666
I’m guessing that your cousin picked up on your desire for her to care for your sister and for you in your later years. She probably felt like you were trying to use her which is what it does sound like. She pulled back because she might be willing to be friends but friends don’t use friends. If she picked up on your desire for her to take care of both your sister and you at a later date she might have felt that you reaching out was a manipulative thing.March 20, 2018 at 7:31 am #743667
I’m really sorry to hear about your sister. That is a blow that is hard to accept. But 15 years is still a lot of time, and her prognosis could even improve in that time, as medicine and treatments continues to advance. And, really, all of us are dying. Some of us have 15 years left, some a few weeks, some many decades. The best thing to do is just live our lives, take care of ourselves and each other as best we can, and try not to sweat the small stuff (or, really, the big stuff that’s way off in the future).
As for being alone at 70: 1) that’s 26 years away! 2) 26 years ago you were 18. Wouldn’t you say your life has changed in some ways since you were 18? 3) 70 isn’t that old! Most 70-year-olds live fully independent lives. Some even run the country. 4) Even people who marry and have kids worry the same worries. There’s no guarantee that your spouse or your kids will outlive you or live close enough to care for you in your senior years or be of sound body and mind to do so. But if you are so worried about your senior years, plan ahead for assisted living. That’s a way better insurance than strong-arming a younger cousin and her family to care for you when you’re old…March 20, 2018 at 7:49 am #743668
In 25 years, nobody will need to drive. Autonomous (driverless) vehicles are a thing and aren’t too far off. They’re already test markets for seniors.
LW, I’m sorry your sister is sick and her life is shortened. That sucks and I don’t know how’d I feel in your position. However, you threw me when you replied and said all you can think about is your care when your elderly. That’s not your cousins job, nor her future children’s. It’s not even guaranteed your kids will help if you had them. The best anyone can do is prepare and make plans for themselves. I’m not having children and certainly don’t expect my nieces and nephew to take care of me when I’m old.
Likely, since you and your parents are taking care of your sister, this has prompted you to think about your own mortality and what that looks like. You’re concentrating on the wrong thing. As others have said, please build a full life for yourself. You can do that while still caring for your sister. You deserve to be happy too. I think a support group is a great idea. There are also plenty forum posts on making new friends as an adult. Check them out.March 20, 2018 at 8:16 am #743669
You can’t expect someone to give up their life to care for your sister. Your cousin probably sees what this devotion has done to you, and wants no part in the continual self sacrifice.
I just made a huge move and life changes to care for other family members. It makes me angry to see all the family that isn’t really helping much, but at the end of the day, I can’t make someone care as much as I do. Everyone has the right to choose their own path. Including you.
I recommend a support group, and maybe even counseling for you. You’re life doesn’t need to be all about your sister. I’m sure she’d say the same.March 20, 2018 at 8:19 am #743670
Make friends. Find your own happiness, hobbies, activities. That’s how you build relationships until your old age. Nurture your friend and family relationships.
70 is not old. My grandma is 95 and still driving, still sharp as a tack and still hilarious. Don’t become a self fulfilling prophecy.March 20, 2018 at 10:11 am #743676
Wendy is spot on and I was thinking the same thing. None of us know how long we have left. You or your cousin may not even outlive your sister. Anyone of us could get hit by a bus tomorrow. The best way to guarantee you are taken care of in old age is to aggressively save now so that you are able to afford care (assisted living, home health aide, etc) rather than count on your cousin or anyone else to care for you.