Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 3, 2012

Day: Prepare now for those later years

By Ray Day
Guest columnist

Kokomo — As we grow, from birth to the early years to the teenage years to adulthood, we go through some drastic changes. We are in the hands of our parents for most of that time, then later decide to embark on a new life without the security of our parents and only a few dollars in our pockets.

From that time when we first enter the world still fastened to our mother, we depend on her to give us what we need. That is a bond that no other can offer.

As time goes by, we start finding out we have a father who is responsible for bringing in the money to buy food and clothes and pay the bills. Then as we grow a little older, we find that our mother not only has us to bring up, but also a few more kids who reap in the same benefits we do. That is what is called a family, and that is good.

The first few years, mom and dad try to teach us how to walk, speak and listen to what they are trying to tell us. We then start school, where teachers take on the task of working on what has been taught by the parents. They show us how to read, write and study the things needed to get us ready for the outside world – when it is time to leave the nest, venture out into the world to make our mark, take a mate and bring up our own family.

And so the cycle moves, time and time again, and that is good.

Soon the parents are turned into grandparents, and they wonder where the time went. Life is like that. It can be a great and joyful one, or it can be a heartache that carries a scar for a very long time.

We find out that times have changed and, instead of it being like it was, the parents soon are moving in with the kids when they can’t take care of themselves. It is a left turn. The kids move back into the parents’ home, and soon there is a house-full. The privacy the parents had is no more.

Where does that leave the parents, who love their kids so much but now have to go through a change in life that should not have to be? Do they just sit back and wait for that time when God calls them home? Don’t they deserve to reap the joy of togetherness with their mate in those golden years, alone, still in daily touch with their children who should be walking their own paths?

Folks, this is for real. Life is that way unless you have made different arrangements for that time in those golden years that have turned a little gray.

Lord knows it is a little expensive to have to go to a nursing home, so you need to look forward some and try to set back some assets so that you won’t be homeless or a hindrance to your kids.

And that should open up the eyes and minds of the younger members of the family. Tell them they should be there for their loved ones, taking care of their needs instead of waiting until they lose them and then fighting over the assets that are left.

Show your love now. Don’t wait till later and find out that it was too late.

If you don’t have a will or a living will, do yourself a favor and get one. They can always be changed later if needed, but just having one now is a good thing to do. We have ours, and our kids won’t have to make a grave decision.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.