Senior Moments: Vulnerability

A new book out, This Beautiful Life, by Helen Schulman, has been getting a lot of attention lately for the story it tells. In the book, a high school boy and his family lose all they had worked so hard to achieve and enjoy when their son forwards a sex video a much younger classmate, whom the boy had ignored, sent to him as revenge for the way he treated her. The lives of both kids and families were ruined in the time it took to his the Send button.

And the other day the news  talked about the millions of seniors who are constantly preyed upon by people out there who trick them into giving money away. 

Yesterday I talked about that continuum of care along which we live as the parents of the 18 year old seniors or children of the 80 year old seniors. Both these stories above give us that much more to worry about, making us all–we and those we care for–feel so vulnerable. 

The only response to such vulnerability is to do what, for example, my wife is doing today: keeping her mother close by taking her out for a drive on this beautiful day then going to the Gertrude Stein exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where they can stand in the light of large rooms full of beautiful images together. 

And continuing to talk with our children, to help them through these vulnerable years of their lives.

And continuing to talk with each other, for as anyone raising or caring for a senior knows, it is sometimes more than one can carry alone. In this way, my wife and I try to protect each other, the heal the vulnerability we both feel on any given day.

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