Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread and Links

Happy Friday! We’ve made it to the end of April – what T.S. Eliot famously called “the cruelest month.” For many of us, the pandemic winter – both the literal one and the figurative one – is over and we are moving to the next phase: the re-birth of spring. Tomorrow Drew and the kids and I get to see my parents for the first time since before the pandemic. To say the kids are excited is an understatement. Joanie was four the last time she saw her grandparents in person. Now she’s closing in on six, has lost a couple of teeth, and has learned how to read. Jackson, 9-1/2, wears glasses now, has grown about a foot, and looks like he’s aged about five years in the past 15 months. My mom has a milestone birthday in a few days, and I’ve been thinking about her last milestone birthday a decade ago when my parents still lived in Germany and Drew and I (and Jackson in utero) met them in London (where Drew had been covering the royal wedding for work). It almost feels like a different lifetime. Anyway, I’m very grateful to science and good fortune that we get to continue making memories. I’m looking forward to May and to the months ahead as we continue moving back to a new normal and embrace the things we’ve missed for so long.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and here are a few links that may interest you:

Speaking of multiple lifetimes, imagine living 115, 125, 150 years. Some scientists think it’s a possibility. How Long Can We Live?: New research is intensifying the debate — with profound implications for the future of the planet.

This is kinda sweet: This couple ‘adopted’ their elder friend, and now they live as a family

Man Charged With Fraud After Dating 35 Women at Once to Get Birthday Presents

I’m a Bisexual Woman but I’ve Given up on Dating Men

Poll: A quarter of women say they are financially worse off a year into pandemic

I thought this was an interesting peek into the psyche of someone born into an obscene amount of wealth: Abigail Disney Has More Money Than She’ll Ever Spend

I’m very on board with this: The Case for a National One-Week Vacation

Some good advice as we all begin to re-enter society: If You Don’t Want to Go, Say No

17 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Copa April 30, 2021, 10:50 am

    Wendy, I hope you have a great time visiting your parents and celebrating your mom’s birthday.

    Re: aging and long lifespans. My grandma died this week at 98. She wasn’t in ill health, just old. If that’s what 98 is like for the average person, I hope to go sooner. Her decline was slow and sad. She was increasingly frail as she aged, then the mental decline crept in. COVID isolation really sped up the mental deterioration. The last time we FaceTimed, maybe a week or so before she passed, she was just a body existing. Zero awareness. I didn’t want her to keep living that way and wouldn’t want that for myself.

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      ktfran April 30, 2021, 11:03 am

      I absolutely don’t want to leave the world like that. Three out of my four grandparents experienced slow, year+ long deaths. Bed ridden. Unable to do anything. Slowly deteriorating. It’s so incredibly sad. Yes, it prepares loved ones for their eventual death because you know they’re suffering, but it’s not something I wish on anyone. I actually was talking to my husband about this the other day. I don’t want extraordinary measures taken to keep me alive. I’m like, what can we do so end of life wishes are adhered to? I need to look into it.

      I know I’m only early 40s s maybe it’s too soon to think about it. But maybe not. You just don’t know.

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        ktfran April 30, 2021, 11:04 am

        Also, enjoy your trip Wendy! I’m excited for you and you family.

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        Dear Wendy April 30, 2021, 11:15 am

        Thank you!

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        Copa April 30, 2021, 11:19 am

        Yeah, not to be a total downer, but one of my boyfriend’s childhood friends also died this week. He just turned 40 on 4/19. He was sick, so it wasn’t unexpected, but it still felt like a giant punch to the gut because he was young-ish, active and outdoorsy when in good health, and not ready to go. My boyfriend and I have had some conversations about death, what we’d both want for ourselves, and death with dignity laws in light of both of us losing loved ones days apart.

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        Dear Wendy April 30, 2021, 11:27 am

        I’m sorry for your losses!

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        ktfran April 30, 2021, 11:32 am

        I’m so sorry Copa! Sending your and bf love! On both losses.

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      Dear Wendy April 30, 2021, 11:15 am

      Thanks, Copa!

      And, yeah, that’s how the end was for my grandmother, too (and she wasn’t even 90 yet). Now we’re seeing a similar decline in older relatives on Drew’s side. It’s very sad, and not what anyone wants for a loved one (or themselves!).

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    MaterialsGirl April 30, 2021, 11:23 am

    ENJOY the time!! and the sugar 😉

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    Kate April 30, 2021, 11:45 am

    I’m sorry, Copa 🙁

    One of my grandmas had a long slow decline, and the other one was in excellent health, participating in a cross-country bike trek that wasn’t even for seniors, and then she went shopping at the mall and died suddenly. Each of them was 78 or 79. I would most certainly prefer the way Ann went out, at the mall. There were two nurses there who tried to help, so she wasn’t alone. God bless nurses, seriously.

    That same grandma was struck by a car as a child and had an experience of floating above and looking down on the scene. I imagine that’s what happened when she passed, and then she just went on.

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      Copa April 30, 2021, 12:00 pm

      Thank you for the condolences, everyone. It’s been a weird week.

      The boyfriend’s friend was sleeping more and more in his final days and kept having dreams that someone was telling him it was okay to go. He’d feel a hand on his shoulder, then wake up. He was with his parents when he died and just before, he woke up from a nap, said to them, “I think I need to go now,” and passed. So I do believe in some kind of other side — what it looks like, I don’t know — and find details like these (out of body experiences, looking down on yourself, reassuring voices in your sleep, etc.) interesting.

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      ktfran April 30, 2021, 12:17 pm

      Oddly, my grandma who passed away at the beginning of March was my one grandparent who didn’t have a slow decline. Her decline was a couple of days. She had six children and during one of the childbirth’s, declared legally dead for a few moments but then came back.

      It’s a crazy world.

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        Kate April 30, 2021, 12:30 pm

        Did she recall anything from when she was legally dead?

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        ktfran April 30, 2021, 12:40 pm

        I’ll have to ask my mom. We hadn’t talked about it in so long that I can’t totally remember. I want to say there was light, but I might be misremembering.

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        ktfran April 30, 2021, 1:09 pm

        From my mom:

        She said she could see a bright light and wanted to go towards it but she heard dad and her sisters telling her she needed to stay with them.

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        Kate April 30, 2021, 1:25 pm

        Yup, you hear that so much, there has to be something to it!

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