Next Stop Gezzerville?

My Dad called me last night.  All kinds of excited.  His first question “So, what furniture do you want from the cottage, were selling”.  Dad said what? Huh?

The parents have decided that it is time to sell the old family cottage they have been using as a home for the past 20 years and downsize to a condo.  Mom and Dad put me on the dreaded speaker phone and chatted on and on about the benefits of condo living, the proximity to the community pool, beach access, and how they won’t have to do yard work or stairs anymore.   Were they trying to convince me or themselves?

I looked at pictures with them (on line) as they chatted about furniture placement and all of their things they are going to have to get rid of.

After nearly an hour, I congratulated them on their big move and hung up.  Then looked at my Hubby and with one big crocodile tear rolling down my cheek asked him

“Why the hell am I finding this so upsetting?”.

I knew the answer and didn’t need him to spell it out for me.

It’s not that they are packing up 20 years of memories, the closest thing we have had to a “family home” for Thanksgivings and Christmas celebrations.   It’s not that they are selling the place I ran to when I had the big news to share that we were expecting our first baby.  The place where I know my kids always have a room to stay.  It’s not that they so easily part with their prized possessions while I seem to accumulate everyone else’s junk in my basement.

It was the sudden realization that… my folks are getting old

The cottage has become too much for them.  My Dad is afraid he can’t handle the stairs much longer.  He just re-painted the outside and doesn’t ever want to do it again.  The roof will need work soon and that is too hard. There is grass and snow and gardening and and and ……it is just too much.

Sigh.  I’m not ready for my youngest to turn 9, my oldest to creep ever closer to 12 or for my parents to get old. 

Can someone please stop the clock?  Just for a little while…..


Psst 2 Days Until the Toy GiveAway


  1. I can totally relate to this post. It makes me soo sad and scared when I see the signs that my parents are aging. I wish that I could stop the hands of time.

  2. I can’t believe that all three of my children are grown. Or that I have three grandchildren. Or that my parents sold and moved to a retirement community. Time marches on.

    I think that part of the difficulty with accepting their decision is that you lose the emotional bond you have with their house. The memories there. It happened with me too when they decided to move on.

    But it’s their life and their choice, and ultimately their happiness.

  3. My parents moved out of our family home last October. They’d been at that address for 27 years. I still have dreams that they live there.

    It’s a tough road watching our parents age, but hopefully it will be easier on them to live in a place that they don’t have to work to maintain. Maybe all that social interaction will keep them young at heart.

    If I could, I’d be with you stopping the clock!

  4. smiles. my last one goes to school on monday…i hear another tick of the clock…ack!

  5. Oh, I wish for the same thing.

  6. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I still have 3 grandparents alive and can’t imagine life without them or my parents.

  7. It’s hard, I know. My dad turns 68 today. The one thing that might help is that fact you still have them in your life. So many of my friends have lost parents. Some of them never saw their grandkids grow-up.

    In addition, when I was teaching, I had a little boy who lost his mom when he was 4. He will never get to experience any of the things you mentioned with his mom. Hopefully this helps.

    It’s hard though. It all goes by so quickly.

  8. Whoever said getting old was the prime of your life…LIED!!

    Come by when you can…

  9. Oh, I feel for you. Time marches on.

    So, what does it mean when I want to downsize MY house? Like right now…oldville here I come. 🙂

  10. right there with you babe!!
    i look at my dad now.. and his hair is almost ALL grey.. and if i think of it too long.. i get super sad…

    it also makes me sad when i hear teens playing music really loud in their car while driving and it makes me mad.. AND THAT made me realize i was getting old…

    aaarrgghhh! hate it!!

  11. If I could figure out how to stop time even for a moment I would totally do it.

  12. I can imagine how this can be a bit a a realization. However, thankfully they aren’t stubborn and continue to hold on to responsibilities that will not allow them to enjoy life as the mature. I;ve seen that and it’s really hard on the adult kids.

  13. My parents both died when they were in their early 50’s. so I won’t have to deal with this, but I do totally relate to losing the family home. It might sound silly, but I found it devastating.

  14. My parents are “going fast.” I did not realize until I decided to stay home. They are forgetful, wobbly, etc. This has devastated me! I also want time to stop!

  15. I can relate to this post both with my own parents and my inlaws. The other day my FIL was talking about how hard it was for him to get out of low chairs and it just really struck me how much he’s aged in the last five years.


    Stopping by from the Follow Me. I’m Canadian bloghop!

  16. Oh, I completely understand how you feel. I can’t imagine not being able to go back home to the house I grew up in. Every so often something happens to remind me that my parents are getting older, and it is scary.

  17. awe *hugs* this sucks.

    can you buy the home?

  18. I just talked to my dad last night and he was talking about his upcoming shoulder and knee surgeries. He said….”Getting old is not fun.” He’s 62. It’s weird to think of our parents as getting old. Dad was always stong and Mom could burn the candle at both ends. I see them slowing down and telling me the same story a couple times. Time flies by so fast 🙁

  19. I am glad that they are excited about their new move, but I understand how it feels to think about our parents getting older. I still think of them the same I did when I was a teen..they are not supposed to be OLD.

  20. It goes too fast. I understand. My parents bought a cottage so they would hve somewhere for us to all “show up”? but really? we all end up at the real house. It’s a lot for them. I’m having a very hard time with these concepts, yet my 97yrold GM still lives in her own house?

  21. It would be nice to be able to stop time just for a little while. Thanks for joining us.

  22. my parents do speaker phone through the blue tooth stuff in the car. so that’s even worse than normal speakerphone!

    on a serious note, i know what you mean, though. i’ve been having these same realizations about my p’s in the past year, and am thankful that my brother is at least local to them to help out.

  23. agreed my friend….. so true!!!

  24. Awwww… I was actually thinking about this last night! My parents aren’t even old – they are both 54 and in decent health, still working, etc… but I’ve watched my grandparents (who also live by themselves) get to a point where they need help.
    It makes me sad to think that someday that will be MY mom and dad.


  25. I know that feeling so well. It broke my heart to see the decline of my father over the last 10 years and I cried many, many times over it. He died 2 years ago accidentally, but I think for his sake it was a blessing. Anyhow, I still have my mom but it pains me to watch her aging too.

    I really feel for you!

  26. I know what you mean. I’m ready for someone to stop that clock. Or at least slow it down significantly.

  27. I understand. The fact that time marches on, can be extremely painful! {hugs}

  28. I went through the opposite. My parents are not declining yet…and hopefully not for many years. But they divorced last year and when they left the house that I had the most childhood memories in I felt like a part of me was gone. Going through that house helping to get everything done nearly caused anxiety attacks. Eventually I started to lose my attachment to the house, because without my parents living there it just didnt feel the same any more. But this week I saw someones vehicle in that driveway and I was overwhelmed with emotion at the idea of someone else living in “my parents house”

  29. It’s no joke watching your parents age, and become unable to do the things they used to. I so know how you feel.

  30. Well MM, you know what they say, there are two things once lost can never be taken back: time and words spoken. This is a timely post as I was just thinking about how time flies and how 35 years of my life zipped right past by. So I decided to take things slow and enjoy because the thought of another 35 years zipping by is pretty darn scary!

  31. Aw, something like that would have made me sad too. I hate the thought of my mom getting older. If you find a way to stop time, let me know.

  32. Oh sweetie… (( hugs )) – reading this is like being in your shoes… yet nobody ever wants to be put in that situation. Aging. Sucks. Why is life flying by so quickly? why are our lives so dang short?

    Feeling melancholic tonight. Sigh. Sorry I’m no help :-/

  33. {{hugs}} I was in such a hurry to grow up, to finish my studies and start a career… Now that I have kids, I just want time to slow down.

  34. I think we all wish for this! Treasure every moment, they told me when my babies were born and I’ve worked like the dickens to do so. 🙂 Live in the happy memories for now and look forward to still being able to make future ones!

  35. That sounds like my parents too. They’re going through the motions as well trying to sell the family home so they could go back home to the islands and retire in peace next year. I’m going to miss them so much. Time does go by fast..

  36. I hear you! I know the feeling all too well. I have been struggling this year with accepting how old my parents are and just wrote today about taking my kids back to college and how hard that is. Sometimes being a grown-up stinks!

  37. I have the exact opposite problem. My father is 63 (diabetic, legally blind, and overweight). He lives with my step-mother in a 4 bedroom home with a sprawling yard.

    They have rooms they never use, a deck they never entertain on, and a garden/yard no one admires. Yet, they refuse to downsize and move to a condo or townhome. My dad couldn’t see to clean the gutters (nor could he climb the ladder to the 2nd story). They don’t really invite family over to enjoy the size of their home. AND, my dad’s company isn’t doing too well. He constantly complains of money and bills yet won’t downsize.

  38. This is something I am just starting to realize myself. Little things here and there and I come to see that the cycle of life is going about it’s business.

    My husband is 10 yrs older than me so he has already heavily into this feeling. His dad has recently passed away. That was tough for all of us but tough for me because I got a glimpse of what is coming for us. Old age and caring for our parents instead of vice versa!

  39. Reality can be hard to accept for all of us. When I “go there,” I try to think of all the pluses of the particular situation and I watch others that are enjoying their changed lives, i.e empty nest, etc.

    But old age ultimately leads to death, and it’s hard to imagine it. Again, I see that others who’ve gone through it manage to continue good lives, and I will too, hopefully. (My dad has already passed.)

    Hopefully, I haven’t depressed you. I’ll end with a smile. 🙂

  40. I so wish we had a pause button on life, too. 🙁

  41. It is very hard to watch are parents getting older. My mom died when I was 31 but my dad is 87. Your parents are probably close to my age and I understand where they are coming from. The house we bought 4 years ago is a one story home and we love it but we won’t be retiring here. The taxes are just too high! But for now we are loving it but the condo at the beach will be coming next.

  42. I forgot to give you a ((HUG))

  43. Well, as you know (because you’ve stopped by my blog), I am 11 years older than you with much older parents (well, now “parent”, singular, sigh) and I wish I could offer words of reassurance to you. But I can’t. There is a hard, hard road you have ahead of you. When your parents get really old and feeble (which hopefully for you is many years away) it is incredibly gut wrenching to be taking care of them, having them become more and more dependent on you. That whole total reversal of the roles, as you become your parent’s keeper: sucks. Not that there aren’t deeply moving and gratifying parts to it. And being able to be there for my parents is/was so important to me, I would not have passed it off to anyone else for the world. But there is no mistaking it, helping a parent through the bitter end: it’s brutal. But as I said, this is the mere beginning of a very long process, and it sounds like your folks are still relatively young and vibrant. Enjoy this time now with them and make the most of it. And that clock stopping trick? If you ever figure it out, pass the secret along to me, OK?

  44. kathy downey says:

    My Mom (91)moved to a seniors complex recently and it”s so sad when i past the old homestead

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